Recently, a photo of a father and daughter who drowned in the Rio Grande caused outrage among the American left. A series of hysterical tweets and media comments blamed President Trump for the deaths, as liberals tried to generate momentum for an open borders policy. Twitter loudmouths, shrieking activists and Democrat presidential candidates have all lined up to say the fate of the El Salvadoran border jumpers was Trump’s fault. Now the president of El Salvador has a message for them: “No it wasn’t.”
On Sunday, June 26, El Salvadoran Oscar Ramirez decided to illegally cross from Mexico into the US. He swam across the Rio Grande with his 23-month-old daughter and left her on the US bank but, when he tried to return to collect his wife, his daughter jumped back into the water. When he attempted to rescue her, both drowned.
- Last Wednesday, the New York Times splashed a photo of the pair’s corpses across its front page. The image, showing their bodies clinging together at the edge of the river, sparked a storm of condemnation against US immigration policy.
- Mexican sources say the family wanted to request asylum at the US Consulate in Matamoros, but Ramirez apparently became “frustrated” at having to wait his turn for an interview and decided to enter the country illegally. This decision led to the tragic deaths of himself and his daughter.
- Leftists seized on the photo as evidence that the Trump administration’s policies are killing refugees. They ignored the fact that there’s a procedure for genuine refugees and Ramirez decided not to follow it. Beto O’Rourke’s reaction was typical, tweeting “Trump is responsible for these deaths” and calling for open borders.
- However, El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele shot down these claims in a BBC interview Monday, saying “They fled El Salvador. They fled our country. It is our fault.”
- Bukele said people were fleeing his country to escape unemployment, gang violence and poverty, and none of that is the US’ fault. He went on to say that the solution to these problems is for El Salvador to build a stronger economy, provide better services and control crime.
- As President Trump pointed out, a border wall would have saved the lives of Ramirez and his infant daughter. People are lured into dangerous crossing attempts by the fact so much of our border is unprotected. If they knew the US bank of the Rio Grande was blocked by a secure wall, they would have no reason to risk their lives attempting to swim across.
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