Death in Rio Grande: America's migration crisis

A man and a child lie dead in the water. The father had covered his daughter with his T-shirt to protect her and her arm is draped over his neck. The image of the two migrants from El Salvador who drowned in the Rio Grande has shocked the world - and put the spotlight on US immigration policy under President Trump once more.

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Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Short-lived empathy

Sadly, the impact of such images doesn't last long, laments columnist Franco Venturini in Corriere della Sera:

“How can we look at this image of a father and his little girl and not feel horror? Drowned in the Rio Grande, the border river between Mexico and the US, lying face down in the water like little Alan from Syria, whose body was washed by the tide onto the Turkish beach of Bodrum in 2015. But emotions, even those provoked by the most dreadful tragedies, hardly ever touch the sphere of rationality, of thinking and initiative, and therefore don't last long. ... This father and child died not just on the US's doorstep, they also died in Lampedusa, in Turkey, on the coast of Sicily. It's up to us to chose between short-lived emotion and tenacious will.”

The Independent (GB) /

Migrants undeterred

Trump's overtly anti-migrant stance won't stem the flow of migrants over the Rio Grande, The Independent puts in:

“Trump, with his racist rhetoric and threats to break up families, is on record as making it as plain as day that migrants from Central America will not be welcomed into the country simply by making it to the border. You can loathe his language, you may loathe his policies, but you cannot say he is not consistent. At the same time, people continue to come, in their hundreds of thousands. Last year, the number of migrants requesting asylum at the US border increased by 67 per cent.”

Krytyka Polityczna (PL) /

Last-minute panic in Central America

Trump's policies are actually increasing migration figures, Krytyka Polityczna believes:

“There can be no doubt that the growing traffic on the border between Mexico and Arizona is a direct consequence of Trump's immigration policy. Because it sends a clear message to migrants: it's now or never. After all, soon the 'beautiful' wall is to be erected on the Mexican border. People have tried to escape poverty and violence by opting for ever more difficult routes, like the Sonora desert or the desert area in the southwest of the state. ... Just 20 years ago these routes were deemed too dangerous, but in recent years organisations like No More Deaths in Arizona have been bringing more and more water and beans to the area for a growing number of desperate migrants.”

De Volkskrant (NL) /

Republicans don't see a problem

There's no point waiting for the White House to change its tune, US correspondent for De Volkskrant Michael Persson predicts:

“It's doubtful that the Senate and president will approve [an emergency aid package of 4.5 billion dollars offered by the House of Representatives, which is dominated by Democrats]. Because the money is earmarked only for humanitarian aid not for controls or deportations. The negative stance of Trump and the Republicans shows that the crisis on the border is only partially regarded as a problem that needs to be solved. ... Deterrence is the explicit goal of Trump's immigration policy. And whether or not this photo is seen by migrants in Central America: for Trump's supporters it is in any case proof that the president - wall or no wall - is doing all he can.”