Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was among those who appeared to be moved by a photo of a Salvadoran father and his daughter who died attempting to cross the Rio Grande and spoke out about it Wednesday.
Wilson posted the widely circulated photo of the father and daughter on the Mexican side of the river on Instagram, saying that the American Dream had "become a nightmare."
“I am a Descendant of Slaves. America didn’t mind 'Immigrants' then but now it’s 2019 & families are searching for a better way of life for their innocent children,” he wrote. "The 'American Dream...' It’s become a NIGHTMARE. Innocent children dying is wrong. Being a descendant of slaves... I am living the quote on quote 'American Dream.' WHY COULDN’T THEY???”
Singer Ciara, Wilson’s wife, also added a comment underneath the photo.
“Enough is enough. My heart is crushed by these images and what’s happening to these families,” she wrote.
WARNING GRAPHIC PHOTO
The photo garnered more than 189,000 likes and more than 14,000 comments.
The photograph, captured Monday by journalist Julia Le Duc and published by Mexican newspaper La Jornada, shows the bodies of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his daughter Valeria, who washed up ashore the Mexican side of the Rio Grande about a half mile away from the international bridge that connects Matamoros, Mexico, and Brownsville, Texas. One of the image’s most striking features is that Valeria’s arm is draped around the neck of her father.
According to Le Duc's reporting for La Jornada, Ramírez, 25, was frustrated that his family from El Salvador was unable to present themselves to U.S. authorities and request asylum – and decided to swim across the Rio Grande on Sunday with Valeria.
He initially made it to the American side with Valeria and dropped her off there, before starting to return to help the next person who wanted to cross -- his wife, 21-year-old Tania Vanessa Ávalos.
But Ramirez’s daughter then entered the water after seeing him leave, the reporting said. Martínez returned and was able to grab Valeria, yet the current swept them both away and they drowned.
El Salvador's foreign ministry said it was working to assist the Ramirez family including Ávalos, who was at a border migrant shelter following the drownings. The bodies were expected to be flown to El Salvador Thursday.
Fox News’ Greg Norman and the Associated Press contributed to this report.