A harrowing photo of a migrant father and his 23-month-old daughter who drowned in the Rio Grande river in Mexico has renewed outrage over the immigration debate and sparked debate over the graphic nature of the photo itself.
The image, taken by journalist Julia Le Duc and showing Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his daughter Valeria deceased and face down on a muddy riverbank, has sparked visceral responses on social media.
The Associated Press released the photo for use by all of its member press organizations on Tuesday, and over 650 people tweeted responses within hours of publication.
According to USA Today, Some people were furious over the graphic nature of the photo. Others were incensed over U.S. immigration policy that they say is allowing the tragedy to coldly unfold. Others expressed anger that the public is not doing enough to help families who are fleeing violence and poverty.
The bodies were discovered on Monday. The father’s black shirt is seen hiked up to his chest with the girl’s head tucked inside. Her arm was draped around his neck, suggesting she clung to him in her final moments.
According to Le Duc’s reporting for the Mexican newspaper La Jornada, 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.
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