House holds moment of silence for drowned migrant father and daughter

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The House on Thursday held a moment of silence on the floor for the two Salvadoran migrants who drowned while attempting to cross the Rio Grande into the U.S. and whose bodies were widely seen in a viral photograph this week.

Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) requested the moment, giving a tearful speech commemorating the lives of Óscar Alberto Martínez and his 23-month-old daughter Valeria, whose bodies were captured in the photo taken by journalist Julia Le Duc in Matamoros, Mexico.

{mosads}”Mr. Speaker, today I ask that we take a moment of silence for the migrants who have died as they have tried to reach the shores of the America that they dream of. The photograph that all of us saw this week should tear all of us up. For those of us who are parents to see a toddler with her little arms wrapped around the neck of her father,” Escobar said on the floor.

“There is nothing that we wouldn’t do for our children, nothing, to give them a better life. Óscar and Valeria represent tens of thousands of migrants who have died as they have tried to build a better life for themselves only to find that they are demonized and locked out of the promise that those of us who are natural-born citizens are so fortunate to enjoy. In their names, let us never forget their sacrifice and the sacrifice that so many parents make for the most vulnerable among us,” she said.

The moment of silence comes on the same day the House was slated to vote on a Senate-passed version of a bill to provide emergency humanitarian border funding to provide necessary resources for agencies handling the influx of migrants at the southern border.

A day earlier and in the other chamber, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) used the famous image of the Martínezes to call out President Trump over his immigration policies.

“President Trump, I want you to look at this photo,” Schumer said. “These are not drug dealers, or vagrants, or criminals. They are people simply fleeing a horrible situation in their home country for a better life.”

Tags Border crisis Chuck Schumer Donald Trump Illegal immigration Immigration Mexico moment of silence Veronica Escobar

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