Drowned migrants 'tragic result' of immigration policy: Graham

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics - Duration: 01:18s - Published
Drowned migrants 'tragic result' of immigration policy: Graham

Drowned migrants 'tragic result' of immigration policy: Graham

On CBS' "Face the Nation," Republican Senator Lindsey Graham blamed failed immigration policy on the recent drowning of an El Salvadoran father and his young daughter.

Rough Cut (no reporter narration).


EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that the drowning of two migrants - an El Salvadoran father and his daughter seen in a photo that went viral - was a 'tragic result' of immigration policy.

"Asylum claims should be made in the home country or in a facility in Mexico because the reason he tried to go across the river, he was told by people in Central America, if you can put one foot on American soil, you're home free and this is a tragic result of that policy," Graham said.

Oscar Martinez, 25, and, Angie Valeria, just shy of 2 years old, died on June 23 as they were attempting to cross the Rio Grande river between Mexico and the United States.

A photo of the two drowned migrants caught them face-down in the reeds of the river's trash-strewn shore.

The little girl, in red tights swollen by a water-logged diaper, is entwined in her father's T-shirt, a small arm stretched across his neck as if in a final embrace.

Martinez had apparently pulled his T-shirt over his daughter to improvise a baby carrier.

The lacerating image spread virally, and became a lightning rod in the charged U.S. political discussion of President Donald Trump's hard-line policies against asylum seekers and other migrants.

Democratic Party candidates for president brought it up in their first debate on Wednesday.

The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, compared the photo to that of a three-year-old Syrian boy, Aylan Kurdi, who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea and whose body washed ashore on a beach in Turkey in 2015.

That image also sparked a public outcry about the desperate plight of asylum-seekers and the political challenges of welcoming them to safer shores.

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