There’s no quick fix for the poor like tragic Oscar Ramirez risking all for a richer life


IN the treacherous waters of the Rio Grande river that separates Mexico from the United States, and the poor world from the rich, Oscar Ramirez and his 23-month-old daughter Valeria died in each other’s arms.

As they drowned together, the toddler clung to her father and the young dad tried to protect his child, tucking her inside his T-shirt, struggling to save her with his dying breath.

AP:Associated Press

Oscar Ramirez and his 23-month-old daughter Valeria died in each other’s arms as the young father attempted to give his family a better life[/caption]

Martínez is pictured with his wife Tania and 23-year-old daughter Valeria in a family photo

When their bodies were found, Valeria still had her arm around her father’s shoulder and Oscar still had his daughter inside his T-shirt.

Oscar’s wife Tania, 21, stood on the muddy banks of the Rio Grande and watched her husband and daughter die.

The image of those two lifeless bodies face down in the Rio Grande would break the hardest of hearts. And in this family’s tragic story is one of the great questions of our age — how should the rich countries of the world treat the millions of poor people who desperately want to migrate there?

Anyone who tells you there are easy answers — such as build a wall to  keep them all out, or tear down the  borders and let them all in — is either a fool or a liar.

Despite what Donald Trump or Angela Merkel might believe, there are no simple solutions to a world on the move.

The Ramirez family were decent people who gambled everything in search of a better life. And lost everything.

Tony Parsons, Sun Columnist

Oscar Ramirez had the misfortune to be born in El Salvador — a violent, crime-ridden, brutally poor part of the world where he earned £9 a day in a pizza parlour and knew that he could never give his beloved wife and daughter the life they deserved.

So this young father and husband took a risk to take his family north to America. And not even the grandmothers of that dead little girl can agree if Oscar did the right thing.

“They wanted a better future for their girl,” Maria Estela Avalos, Valeria’s maternal grandmother, told the  Washington Post while Oscar’s mother Rosa Ramirez wishes they had stayed at home in El Salvador.

“One way or another, we get by in our country,” Rosa said. “I begged them not to go.”

But the Ramirez family left their home in San Martin almost three months ago to find a better life. So, yes, this family were “economic migrants” — but what they were fleeing was a soul-destroying, lifetime sentence of poverty.

And what is haunting America today — and the world —  is that the Ramirez family look so different from the image of criminal, drug-dealing refugees that Trump loves to peddle to his fan base.

The Ramirez family were decent people who gambled everything in search of a better life. And lost everything.

AP:Associated Press

The pious, virtue-signalling  RefugeesWelcome hashtag is  ultimately as empty as the rhetoric of President Trump[/caption]

Yet it feels that Trump’s enemies are far too eager to make political capital out of these tragic deaths. Trump’s tough migrant stance is not responsible for the deaths of Oscar and Valeria Ramirez.

Long after Donald’s hairpiece has turned to dust, El Salvador will be a poor, crime-infested country where loving families struggle to give their children a good life.

Yes, it is true that Trump often speaks in crass clichés, as if every refugee in the world is only coming to America to sell drugs to rosy-cheeked all-American kiddies. But it is hardly Trump’s fault that so much of Central America is mired in Third World misery. The answer is not, and can never be, to simply open the borders of affluent nations to everyone who wants to live there.


The pious, virtue-signalling  #RefugeesWelcome hashtag is  ultimately as empty as the rhetoric of President Trump.

When it comes to migration, there is no quick fix. Build a wall to keep them out? Open the borders and let them in? None of it works.

Trump’s wall on the US-Mexico border is as doomed to failure as Frau Merkel’s decision to open Germany’s borders to unlimited, uncontrolled immigration in 2015.

The developed world can’t keep out all the poor people who want to live here, because they are willing to risk absolutely everything — even the lives of their children.

Trump might build his wall but dead children will keep washing  up against it. Is that really what  America wants?

Yet as Frau Merkel’s Germany has come to understand, no developed country can happily accommodate all the migrants who wish to live there.


Australia has an answer — a country with strict rules about migration but with arms that are always open. That’s why there are currently 1.3million Brits living in Australia.

There is nothing anti-immigrant about the British.

Brexit was never about immigration. Brexit was about social services being overwhelmed. Brexit was about having some choice about who has the right to come and live here. And every country should have that right.

But we will be forever haunted by the image of a dad who died with his daughter in his arms simply because he wanted her to have a better life.

In that shocking photograph of a dead toddler stuffed inside her father’s T-shirt, we see a truth that even President  Trump could surely acknowledge.

Migrants love their children too.


Having yachts of fun

Getty Images – Getty

Cristiano Ronaldo and his model girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez have been staying on Philip Green’s £120million superyacht… Green faces groping claims while Ronaldo has sex offence claims to deal with in the US[/caption]

SPANISH model Georgina Rodriguez has been enjoying a stay on Philip Green’s boat with her boyfriend Cristiano Ronaldo.

Green is currently under investigation for groping claims alleged by his former personal trainer while Ronaldo faces his own sex offence claims in the US.

Both men deny the charges and were happily playing ping-pong on Green’s £120million superyacht.

It’s just a crying shame that Harvey Weinstein couldn’t make it.



WHAT’S weird about Keith Richards’ new hair – making its debut on the Stones US tour – is that Keith never had hair like that in his life.

Young Keith had a raven-black bird nest, later streaked with silver, which eventually morphed into the ragged white mop of an elderly pirate.

Those mousey, fluffy locks on Keith’s head look like they were loaned from Bill Wyman.

Yet even with that brown barnet, Keith still looks gloriously Keith-like.

“Rock music is dead,” sighs Ezra Koenig, lead singer of Vampire Weekend, who play Glastonbury today.

But to me rock music will never be dead while Keith Richards is still alive.

Merkel is clearly unwell

THERE was something horribly voyeuristic about the close-up video of German leader Angela Merkel suffering a second bout of violent shaking.

Did we really need to see Merkel’s distress in such graphic detail?

Alamy Live News

Did we really need to see Angela Merkel’s distress in such graphic detail?[/caption]

Is there nobody to lead her away from the lurid interest of the cameras?

Is there nobody around Merkel to protect her?

And can’t they see she is desperately unwell?

The last time I saw someone shaking like that I was in the presence of Muhammad Ali, who fought Parkinson’s disease from his diagnosis in 1984 to his death in 2016.

Merkel’s doctors have reportedly ruled out Parkinson’s disease and blamed the summer heat, exhaustion and stress.

She might want to get a second opinion.

The woman is unwell.


SINGER Joss Stone poses in a pink, face-covering niqab while on tour in Saudi Arabia and then unconvincingly praises the garment as a symbol of female emancipation.

“The women here are strong and exercising their choice to be free, wear what they want and do what they want,” writes Joss.

So Saudi women are free to ditch their face veils if they choose?

This might possibly be news to them, Joss.

Doing a world of good

WOMEN’s football has come of age in this World Cup.

David Beckham and his daughter Harper were among the crowd as England thrashed Norway 3-0 on Thursday, while 7.6million of us watched at home.

Rex Features

David Beckham and Harper supporting the Lionesses[/caption]

Frankly, I would not have watched women’s football even a year ago but when England take on the USA  in the semi-final on Tuesday, I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

And the great thing is that – unlike the men – women do not pretend to be hurt when they are not.

After this glorious World Cup, “playing like a girl,” has a whole new meaning.

JEREMY CORBYN’s tactic of having it both ways on Brexit – pro-Remain for the middle class South, pro-Leave for the working class North – is finally running out of road.

Even Jezza’s staunchest allies are starting to question the wizened hypocrite’s tactic of having his Brexit cake and eating it too.

“I have supported Labour’s Brexit strategy so far,” Diane Abbott told a Labour supporter on Twitter.

“But like you, I am beginning to worry.”

It just doesn’t add up, does it, Diane?

But then nothing ever does  with her.



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