CLEVELAND, Ohio — This past week was marked by two historic images of border crossings. The first was the image of 25 year-old Oscar Alberto Martinez and his 23 month-old daughter, Angie Valeria. found drowned on an edge of the Rio Grande, after trying to seek asylum in the United States. The second was of President Trump crossing into North Korea at the DMZ to meet Dictator Kim Jong Un. The leader of the free world cared less about the father and daughter from El Salvador who were yearning to breathe free.
Martinez and his family were seeking asylum in the United States after fleeing poverty in El Salvador and being granted a humanitarian visa in Mexico. But the Trump administration has deliberately made the asylum process slower and more difficult. If they could legally end it all together they would. After waiting months in a Mexico migrant camp, the Martinez family decided to cross the river.
Reports have been conflicting about what happened when the family tried to cross the Rio Grande. According to one report, Oscar made it across with his daughter, but when he went back to get her mother and the other family members, Angie Valeria jumped in after him and they both drowned when he went to retrieve her.
The other account is that the entire family entered the water, but the mother and others exited when the current was too strong, and that current took Oscar and his daughter away.
On the same day Oscar and Angie Valeria were found drowned, three other children and a 20 year-old woman were also found drowned on another part of the Rio Grande.
Saturday, Trump said his desired border wall and Democrats could have prevented the tragedy.
“If we had walls up, and we had it hard, the father and the beautiful daughter who drowned – you know the Rio Grande is very tough, it has moments where it can be very calm and then all of a sudden it becomes totally violent and then people get swept away – but if they thought it was hard to get in, they wouldn’t be coming up. So many lives would be saved.”
“I hate it, and I know it could stop immediately if the Democrats change the law. They have to change the laws. And then that father, who probably was this wonderful guy, with his daughter – things like that wouldn’t happen.”
It wasn’t the Democrats who cut funding and other aide to Central American countries like El Salvador, it was the Trump administration. And it wasn’t the Democrats who put up roadblocks in the asylum seeking process, all but shutting it down, that too was the Trump administration.
The somewhat spontaneous decision to meet Kim Jong Un at the DMZ, was Trump at his best. The southern border policies are Trump at his worst.
Gives us your tired and poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, and we’ll give you our president who cares more about Putin and Kim Jong Un.