President Trump on Wednesday blamed Democrats for the deaths of a migrant father and toddler girl whose bodies are depicted in searing photographs that have become a symbol of the perils faced by those trying to cross illegally into the US, the AP reports. Speaking with reporters as he left the White House for a four-day trip to Asia, Trump said he was disturbed by the photos. But he said the deaths could have been prevented and castigated Democrats for failing to pass legislation he claimed would stop people from trying to make the dangerous trek. "If we had the right laws, that the Democrats are not letting us have, those people, they wouldn't be coming up. They wouldn't be trying," Trump said. "They can change it very easily so people don't come up and people won't get killed."
Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and daughter Valeria were trying to cross into the US after fleeing from El Salvador when they were swept into the Rio Grande. "I hate it," Trump said when asked about the image, "and I know it could stop immediately if the Democrats change the law. They have to change the laws. And then that father, who probably was this wonderful guy, with his daughter, things like that wouldn't happen." Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blasted Trump for saying "'Let's blame the Democrats.'" "That's a disgrace. Mr. President, you are President of the United States," Schumer said. "You are head of the Executive Branch. You control what's happening at the border." ("They died in each other's arms," Ramirez's mother says.)