Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke took to popular social media site Twitter on Tuesday to publicly blame current President Donald Trump for the deaths of a migrant father and his toddler daughter. The two were found washed up on the banks of the Rio Grande River earlier this week, reported The Daily Mail.
O’Rourke’s message, which read simply “Trump is responsible for these deaths,” reflects the outrage that Democrats have felt over Trump’s strict immigration policies and his handling of the immigration situation at the Mexican border.
O’Rourke added in a separate tweet, “As his administration refuses to follow our laws – preventing refugees from presenting themselves for asylum at our ports of entry – they cause families to cross between ports, ensuring greater suffering & death. At the expense of our humanity, not to the benefit of our safety.”
The image that went viral of the drowned father and daughter featured the two laying facedown after their bodies washed up on the banks of the river on the border of Brownsville, Texas. Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, a Salvadoran man, has his black shirt hiked up on his upper back and partly covering his 23-month-old daughter, which viewers assumed was in an attempt to keep her close while trying to swim across the river. Her arm rests across his shoulder as they float in the shallow water.
STAND IN SOLIDARITY AT HOMESTEAD WITH BETO:— Susie Draper (@susiedrapes) June 26, 2019
Join @BetoORourke in FL on 6/27 to fight in solidarity with the local leaders & activists who’re leading the opposition to a camp where thousands of unaccompanied minors are being held after coming to ???????? seeking refuge. Details???????? pic.twitter.com/QS1u8XMmSM
The images of the father and daughter were also accompanied by those of his wife, who watched them attempt to swim across the river illegally before being unable to make it safely to the other side.
Immigration will be a hot topic at the Wednesday night Democratic presidential debate, which O’Rourke will attend alongside nine other contenders. Following the debate, on Thursday, O’Rourke is scheduled to travel to the Child Migration Detention Center in Homestead, Florida, where thousands of teenage refugees are being held.
Fellow Democrat Elizabeth Warren, who has also joined the list of 2020 contenders, will be traveling to the same detention facility prior to the debate in Miami on Wednesday. Warren also pointed to the Trump Administration to blame for the deaths of the father and daughter.
“A government that can’t tell the difference between a threat posed by a terrorist, a criminal, and a little girl, is not a government that is keeping us safe.”
Senator Cory Booker shared O’Rourke’s and Warren’s sentiments in a tweet of his own.
“We should not look away. These are the consequences of Donald Trump’s inhumane and immoral immigration policy. This is being done in our name.”