When the young Salvadoran refugee Oscar Alberto Martínez & his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria drowned in the Rio Grande River on June 23rd, Trump & his head of immigration both psychopathically blamed him, saying if he had waited in line to appeal for asylum he & his little girl would not have died. The lines they referred to are the lines of refugees camped out on the international bridges crossing between Mexico & the US where for months hundreds of refugees, including many small children, live in sweltering heat so they can officially apply to enter the US. It doesn’t improve their chances of getting asylum but does prevent them from drowning in the river or getting dumped in a concentration camp if they succeed crossing but then get arrested by the border patrol.
When my friend & I went to Mexico on Friday, the line of refugees with their stocks of water, generators for charging cell phones, encampment gear were completely removed. There wasn’t a single refugee on the bridge of the hundreds who have been there for months. Which only means they have been forcibly removed by the border patrol. When we asked the Mexican agents where the refugees were, they told us to ask the US agents who had set up a passport station & barrier fence in the middle of the bridge. When we asked the US agents, they also replied with smart-mouthed insularity, saying they had no idea.
We have no idea either where they could have forced hundreds of refugees to go since they weren’t evident on the ground under the bridge nor in the town of Progreso, Mexico where we had been shopping. What it means is that the US & Mexico are cooperating to make it impossible for refugees to legally enter the US & appeal for asylum & are increasing the likelihood that more will attempt to ford the river with their little kids, many will drown trying, & most of the rest will end up dumped in concentration camps. We live in the United States of Barbarism, Racism, & Xenophobia.
Photo is Oscar Alberto Martinez, Angie Valeria, & their wife & mother Tania Avalos who stood on the Mexican side of the river watching them drown. May they Rest In Peace. Our deepest condolences to Tania Avalos.
(Photo from family via CNN)