USCCB Responds to Tragic Drowning of Father and Daughter at U.S. Border

rio grande

Tragedy continues at the U.S./Mexico border, where this week a father and his young daughter drowned attempting to cross the Rio Grande into the United States. The man, along with his wife and child, were from El Salvador and had been staying at a migrant camp in Mexico awaiting asylum in the United States for over two months. Out of desperation, they took the chance of crossing the Rio Grande. The man's wife could do nothing from shore but watch her family be swept away in a strong current.

These tragic stories of death and family separation in pursuit of a better life are becoming more commonplace. Upon seeing the graphic image of the bodies of the father and daughter, Pope Francis expressed his immense sadness. "The Pope is profoundly saddened by their deaths, and is praying for them and for all migrants who have lost their lives while seeking to flee war and misery," Holy See Press Office interim director Alessandro Gissoti said. The USCCB also released a statement on the incident. 

"We join with our Holy Father Pope Francis in immense sadness, having seen the horrific images of Oscar Martinez and his daughter Angie Valeria who drowned in the Rio Grande Valley while attempting to flee persecution and enter the United States. This image cries to heaven for justice. This image silences politics. Who can look on this picture and not see the results of the failures of all of us to find a humane and just solution to the immigration crisis? Sadly, this picture shows the daily plight of our brothers and sisters. Not only does their cry reach heaven. It reaches us. And it must now reach our federal government."

Read the full statement here.

July 2, 2019 - 9:36am

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