The picture of a father and his daughter who drowned as they attempted to crossover to the United States has divided the United States amid accusations and counter-accusations on who was to blame.
Republicans and Democrats all engaged in a verbal warfare after the picture of Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez, 25, and his 23-month-old daughter, Valeria, started circulating.
The two died on Sunday after being swept away by the current as the wife watched.
The picture of the deceased broke the world hearts and exposed the crisis of people desperate to make way to the US for a better life.
It also re-opened a fierce debate about the scale of the crisis at the borders as it comes amid reports of children dying and leaving under inhumane conditions.
US President, Donald Trump, blamed the policies of the Democrats for the deaths and crisis saying : “I hate it, and it could stop immediately if the Democrats change the laws. And that father who was probably a wonderful guy with his daughter, things like that wouldn’t happen.”
“If we had the right laws, that the Democrats are not letting us have, those people wouldn’t be coming up, they wouldn’t be trying,” Trump argued.
“The asylum policy of the Democrats is responsible.”
However, the Democratic presidential candidates condemned the “inhumane” situation on the US border with Mexico and other directly shifted the blame on Trump.
Beto O’Rourke said: “Trump is responsible for these deaths. 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 and death. At the expense of our humanity, not to the benefit of our safety,” the former Texas congressman said.
Fellow 2020 hopeful senator Kamala Harris condemned the picture as “a stain on our moral conscience”.
“These families seeking asylum are often fleeing extreme violence. And what happens when they arrive? Trump says, ‘Go back to where you came from.’ That is inhumane. Children are dying.”
Another 2020 candidate, Corey Booker, a New Jersey senator blamed Trump saying : “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.”
This all comes as Pope Francis’spokesperson on Wednesday said : “The pope is profoundly saddened by their death, and is praying for them and for all migrants who have lost their lives while seeking to flee war and misery.”
House Democrats on Tuesday passed a bill that would provide $4.5 billion for humanitarian and other aid for migrants being held in camps at the border.
The bill would need to be negotiated by the Senate and Trump has threatened to veto it, so its fate remains uncertain.