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Salvadoran migrant Oscar Martinez Ramirez and his daughter drowned trying to cross the Rio Grande on June 24, 2019.

Str/AFP/Getty Images

The Rio Grande is the fourth-longest river in the US. It originates in the Colorado Rockies, then bends and winds its way through New Mexico and along the edge of Texas. Nearly 2,000 miles later, it empties into the Gulf of Mexico.For more than half of its length, the silty-green river serves as the official southern border for the entire state of Texas.

It’s also a place where migrants drown every year as they try to make it to the US, according to US Customs and Border Protection.

Oscar Alberto Martinez, 25, and his 23-month-old daughter fell victim to the river’s currents in late June. A haunting image, captured by photographer Julia Le Duc, shows the two lying face down in the reeds near Brownsville, Texas.Martinez’s daughter is tucked inside his black T-shirt with her arm slung around his shoulder.

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Martinez had traveled north from El Salvador with his daughter and wife Tania Vanessa Avalos, 21, according to Le Duc, who is a reporter for the .They’d been waiting in Mexico for two months hoping to come to the US and ask for political asylum. Desperate to get to the US, however, Tranh go treo tuong tphcm tranh gỗ treo tường phòng khách thuận buồm xuôi gió they decided to swim across the river instead of continuing to wait in Mexico.

Their deaths are a tragic reminder of the lengths people will go to in order to reach the US. Their story isn’t unique. Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala are some of the most dangerous countries on Earth because of violent organized crime, cartels and gangs.It’s caused hundreds of thousands of people to flee. Customs and Border Protection says it apprehended between January and May, up 117% from the same period last year. To catch these migrants, with a complex network of cameras, , sensors and surveillance technology.

Asylum seekers are  under US law. And up until last summer, to begin their application process. But now, under a new government process called “metering,” only a .Immigrants are being forced to wait in Mexico indefinitely.

Once a person sets foot in US territory, they have the right to apply for asylum. So, by braving the river, migrants can jump that endless metering line.

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