Family tells NY Times that father and child in heartbreaking photo were not fleeing violence

Contrary to the left’s narrative about the father and child who tragically drowned trying to illegally cross the U.S. border, the family from El Salvador was reportedly not escaping violence in their home country.

Relatives of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his 23-month-old daughter, Valeria, have indicated that although the family, which included wife and mother Tania Vanessa Ávalos, were hoping to request asylum in the United States, they were not victims of violence in their homeland, according to a report by The New York Times Wednesday.

Liberals have been unashamedly blaming President Trump and his administration for the tragic deaths, though even former President Obama’s administration would also likely have denied asylum to the family since immediate danger was not a factor in their decision to leave El Salvador.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren spoke about the image of the father and child lying face down on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande where they had died while attempting to swim across and enter the U.S. illegally.

An Associated Press report cited journalist Julia Le Duc’s story and photo which were published by Mexican newspaper La Jornada:

According to Le Duc’s reporting for La Jornada, Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, frustrated because the family from El Salvador was unable to present themselves to U.S. authorities and request asylum, swam across the river on Sunday with his daughter, Valeria.

He set her on the U.S. bank of the river and started back for his wife, Tania Vanessa Ávalos, but seeing him move away the girl threw herself into the waters. Martínez returned and was able to grab Valeria, but the current swept them both away.

 

Democratic presidential candidates Beto O’Rourke and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey blamed the president for the deaths.

CNN’s Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon discussed the image and lambasted Trump as well as opponents of illegal immigration during a segment on “CNN Tonight” Tuesday.

Many in the mainstream media blamed a so-called “metering” policy for the desperate decision by Martínez Ramírez to get his family across the river.

The “metering” policy, which places asylum-seekers in a queue to apply, has “dramatically reduced the number of migrants who are allowed to request asylum, down from dozens per day previously to sometimes just a handful at some ports of entry,” the AP reported.

But the media was cautioned not to assume the policy was to blame in this case, as Vox’s Dara Lind tweeted.

The New York Times report appeared to shed more light on this with interviews of relatives:

Some are fleeing gangs that cripple the region and kill wantonly. Others are seeking an economic lifeline.

Such was the case with Mr. Martínez and his wife, who left El Salvador in early April intent on starting fresh in the United States, according to Jorge Beltran, a reporter for El Diario de Hoy in El Salvador who interviewed some of the couple’s relatives.

Mr. Martínez quit his job at Papa John’s, where he had earned about $350 a month. By then, his wife had already left her job as a cashier at a Chinese restaurant to take care of their daughter.

The couple lived with Mr. Martínez’s mother in the community of Altavista, a massive housing complex of tiny concrete houses east of San Salvador, according to Mr. Beltran.

Though Altavista is under the control of gangs, the couple was not fleeing from violence, Rosa Ramírez, Mr. Martínez’s mother, told him. Rather, the grind of surviving as a family on $10 a day had become unmanageable.

 

Twitter users discussed the emotional reactions to the tragic story and the cautionary note to get all the facts before spreading “fake news” about who is to blame.

Frieda Powers

Senior Staff Writer
[email protected]

Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.
Frieda Powers

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