Posted by Scott Foster on

This picture breaks my heart.

Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his little girl, 23-month-old Valeria, died trying to cross into the United States in the Rio Grande at Matamoros, Mexico (opposite Brownsville, Texas) because they were unable to apply for asylum in the United States. According to the New York Post, they are at least the fifth and sixth persons to die trying to cross the border this week. Just this week! Three of the others are infants and children.

I wonder if this picture could be the tipping point on this issue, finally.

It breaks my heart like the pictures I have seen of police turning fire hoses and German Shepherd dogs onto student protesters. Prize-winning photographs that were maybe a tipping point for the Civil Rights movement making newspapers all over the world.

It breaks my heart like the 2015 picture of the dead toddler on the beach in the Mediterranean. A tipping point for refugees of the Syrian Civil War. Again, world-wide news.

This photo is all over the world today.

Even as debate rages on about our (United States) obligation to provide toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soap for “safe and sanitary conditions” for children held in detention at the border. Children held in detention.


We are debating this.

We are debating this sanitary issue while people are dying!

Children held in detention is not news, not any more. But it’s unconscionable. Our border policies are unconscionable, and they have been for years.

This is not a political issue.

This is a human rights issue.

Thoughts and prayers for them and their families aren’t enough.

In fact—trade wars, Iran, and Mueller dominate the rest of today’s news cycle. At least if our attention is focused on the toothbrushes, we’re thinking about it.  

But, how many more people (children!) have to die while we argue about it, ignore it, perpetuate it?

What does it take to outrage us?

Really—not just “What Would Jesus Do?”
Who Would Jesus Deport?

These are real people with real lives, and hopes, and dreams—and they are dying.

They have names.

Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and Valeria are just the latest.

Grace and peace,





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