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Beto O’Rourke on Tuesday blamed President Donald Trump directly for the deaths of a father and daughter who were found earlier this week along a bank of the Rio Grande.
“As his administration refuses to follow our laws — preventing refugees from presenting themselves for asylum at our ports of entry — they cause families to cross between ports, ensuring greater suffering and death,” O’Rourke wrote. “At the expense of our humanity, not to the benefit of our safety.”
O’Rourke, a former congressman from the border city of El Paso in West Texas, has long criticized Trump for immigration policies he has said are inhumane. The presidential candidate said on ABC’s “The View“ in May that existing barriers “contribute to death and suffering” by forcing immigrants to cross in more remote areas of the U.S.-Mexico border.
But O’Rourke’s rebuke of Trump on Tuesday was especially stark — as was the brutality of the incident he was addressing.
The man found with his daughter face down in the Rio Grande was from El Salvador and had become frustrated that his family could not request asylum at the United States border, according to the Associated Press, which was citing journalist Julia Le Duc’s reporting for La Jornada, a Mexican newspaper.
The two were caught in the current of the river instead.