A lawmaker says a woman in Canada had tried to sponsor Syrian relatives who drowned off the coast of Turkey, including a 3-year-old boy whose lifeless body was shown in photographs that are galvanizing debate around the world.

Canadian legislator Fin Donnelly told The Canadian Press that the Vancouver-area woman had sought to sponsor the mother and two children but that her request was turned down by Canadian immigration officials.

Donnelly said the woman tried to sponsor her nephews Aylan and Galip Kurdi and their mother, all three of whom drowned.

Images of the body of Aylan, 3, washing up on a Turkish shore shocked the world and prompted emotional appeals Thursday to governments to do more to help migrants.