Migrant toddler, father wash up dead in border-crossing tragedy

A heartbreaking photo shows the bodies of a 23-month-old El Salvadoran immigrant still clinging to her father on the shore of the Rio Grande River on Monday — after they drowned while desperately trying to cross into the United States.

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Local media identified the dead as Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his little girl Valeria.

Ramírez had grown frustrated that his family was not able to request asylum from US authorities near Brownsville, Texas, and swam his daughter across the fast-moving river.

But when he began to swim back for his wife, Tania Vanessa Ávalos, the young girl jumped in after him. He grabbed his daughter but the pair were taken away by the current, Ávalos told police.

Their bodies were found several hundred yards downriver, near Matamoros, Mexico.

“Very regrettable that this would happen,” Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Tuesday when asked about the image.

“We have always denounced that as there is more rejection in the United States, there are people who lose their lives in the desert or crossing [the river].”

They are at least the fifth and sixth people in the last week week to die trying to cross the border — the bodies of four people, including two infants and a toddler, were found in Hidalgo County, Texas, on Sunday.

The US has tightened restrictions on the number of migrants who can apply for asylum in the US. And the Mexican government on Monday deployed nearly 15,000 soldiers and National Guardsmen to the border to detain migrants who try to cross after President Trump threatened trade tariffs.

With Post wires

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