Migrant who drowned trying to enter the US wanted to help her disabled brother

A five-year-old immigrant girl who drowned trying to cross the Rio Grande to the United States left her country with her mother so they could earn money in America to give back to a disabled younger brother, family members said.

Little Margaret Sofia and her mother Silvia García were caught in the monsoon-swollen waters of the river Monday afternoon while trying to cross illegally into El Paso Texas, Mexican authorities said.

The mother held her little daughter as the five-year-old was swept away by the current. Her body was later recovered by Mexican rescuers, devastating video showed.

The girl's family speak to a Guatemalan news outlet after the tragedy.
The girl’s family speak to a Guatemalan news outlet after the tragedy.
Facebook / Esquipulas dia tras dia

“What she wanted when she was young was a better future for her little brother,” Sofia’s aunt, Rosa García, told a Guatemalan news program. “She would tell him, ‘Little brother, I’ll go (to America) and send you money.’

From a modest house in Esquipulas, Guatemala, with unfinished floors, Sofia’s aunts described her as a happy and playful child. Sofia’s younger brother sat quietly in a chair next to a photo of his older sister, whose dream of taking care of him died with her.

“She would take care of her little brother and tell him that she would take care of him when she grew up,” said Sofia’s aunt Heidi García.

García's family has not been able to reach her since the tragic accident.
Silvia García remains in a hospital in Mexico.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

García’s sisters said she is a single mother who cannot afford to send her son the medical care he needs in Guatemala. Without naming his condition, they added that care for disabled children is not accessible in their country.

“She decided to go to America to give him a better life, to pay for treatment to see if he could walk — that’s why she decided to go,” García’s sister said.

The mother and daughter’s American dream turned into a nightmare when García, who survived and is now in a Mexican hospital, watched as her daughter escaped to her death.

García’s rescue from the Rio Grande was also photographed – showing her in a distressed state before her daughter’s body was recovered.

The mother and daughter wanted to meet up with García’s sister, who is already in Kansas.

Instead, García’s sisters in the US and Guatemala asked for help to bring Sofia’s body back to their hometown for burial. The relatives say communications with both the Guatemalan and Mexican governments have been slow and the family did not have the estimated $6,500 needed to fly Sofia’s body back to their country.

They also couldn’t reach García, who they hope people won’t judge for her decision to risk her daughter’s life for a chance at a better life.

“Sometimes people make judgments without knowing the reality, but we don’t know what they’re going through,” said Heidi García. “There is a saying: when you have enough to eat, who are you to deny another’s way of life?”

https://nypost.com/2022/08/24/migrant-girl-who-drowned-trying-to-enter-us-wanted-to-help-disabled-brother/ Migrant who drowned trying to enter the US wanted to help her disabled brother

JACLYN DIAZ

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