The mother of a man who drowned alongside his young daughter while trying to reach the US has said she is comforted by how they clung to each other in their final moments.
Rosa Ramirez said she finds a photograph showing the bodies of her son and his 23-month-old daughter drowned while trying to cross the Rio Grande into Texas hard to look at.
She said: "You can see how he protected her, they died in each other's arms."
Her 25-year-old son, Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez, and his daughter Valeria were swept away by the current near Matamoros, Mexico, and Brownsville, Texas.
The grim photo showed the girl tucked inside her father's shirt for protection with her arm draped over his neck - an image that underscores the dangers migrants face trying to make it to the United States and the desperate measures they resort to in the face of policies designed to deter them.
Speaking at their Salvadoran home, Ms Ramirez said:
Ms Ramirez had shared the home with barred windows in San Martin on the outskirts of the capital, San Salvador, with her son, his wife, 21-year-old Tania Vanessa Avalos and their daughter until the young family decided to make the journey north.
In their working-class neighbourhood of about 40,000, Mr Martinez worked in a pizzeria and Ms Avalos as a cashier in a fast-food restaurant, Ms Ramirez said.
The area has had problems with gang violence but these days it "is calm" she said, adding that he never had any problems with gangs - they left for economic reasons.
Ms Ramirez said that she had given them the big room in the two-bedroom house, but they dreamed of saving money for a place of their own and that drove the family to head for the United States in early April.
#PopeFrancis is profoundly saddened by the death of two #migrants – a father and his baby daughter – who drowned in the #Rio Grande while attempting to cross into the US from Mexico. https://t.co/5bXVLG4PMh— Vatican News (@VaticanNews) June 26, 2019
"I told him, 'Son, don't go. But if you do go, leave me the girl,'" Ms Ramirez said.
Now she feels a hole that "nobody can fill, but God gives me strength," Ms Ramirez said.
Marta Argueta de Andrade, their 50-year-old neighbour, said she met the family about five years ago. She described them as "good people" and Mr Martinez as an easygoing young man.
"I would see him walking with the girl. He called her 'little curly one,'" Ms Argueta said. "It was very sweet."
1/ This is Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his nearly 2-year-old daughter, Valeria. They were reportedly unable to request asylum on U.S. soil.June 26, 2019
Officials have said the bodies were expected to be returned to El Salvador on Thursday. Ms Ramirez said she was not sure when they would arrive, but that the government was paying for it.
"I would say to those who are thinking of migrating, they should think it over because not everyone can live that American dream you hear about," Ms Ramirez said.
Meanwhile, Leading Democrats have said they hope a photo of the bodies of a migrant father and his baby daughter will challenge the Trump administration's conscience.
House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi referenced a picture that has gone viral of a man who drowned alongside his 23-month-old daughter while trying to cross the Rio Grande into Texas.
The photo caught the attention of politicians as members of Congress work to provide 4.5 billion US dollars in humanitarian aid for people detained while crossing the southern US border.
Ms Pelosi said: "This isn't who we are as a country. We have obligations to humanity that are being completely ignored.
"This is a manifestation of behaviour that is outside the circle of civilised human behaviour."
She said she hopes the picture will show that "something could be done that is better".
Asked if the photos could alter the immigration debate, Ms Pelosi said: "I would hope so, but we've had many challenges to conscience which haven't. But let's hope that this just tips the scale."
The heartbreaking photo of a father and his toddler daughter who drowned in the Rio Grande has deeply shocked all of us at UNHCR.June 26, 2019
- Press Association