1,000 Words: The crying little girl in Mexico

This picture, owned by the Washington Post, carries with it a story of humanity that could, perhaps in a different universe, transcend politics.

Camila Savioll Mejia, 4, is part of the exodus of people fleeing violence in their home countries that is currently walking through Mexico.

She had to keep up, the Washington Post says in its story about her today, because stragglers are — rumors say — being rounded up and deported.

But she’s 4. She’s also sick. So is her sister, 2.

Then something happened that would likely never happen in the United States, lest there be an accusation of being unethical: a TV journalist gave her and her family a ride, the Post says.

Paco Santana, a TV anchorman, had interviewed Mejia a few days earlier and had given her a lift. Now he offered to do so again.

I wish I could take you all like last time, but I have a woman who is very pregnant,” he told Zelaya and Mejia’s other friends.

“No, no, no,” said Ana Velazquez, 36, who was traveling with her 16-year-old daughter. “What we want is for her to get a ride because the little girl doesn’t like to walk.”

“Well,” Santana said, turning to Mejia. “What do you think?”

She looked at her friends. Then she looked at her daughters.

“Do you want to go in the car, like the other day?” Santana asked Camila and Samantha.

With shouts of excitement, her daughters made the decision for her.

“I don’t have cookies this time,” Santana said, opening the door of his car, where the pregnant woman and her partner were already waiting for a ride. “Should we go get some?”

And then it was on to the next town, the single mother’s odyssey over — at least for another day.

  • chlost

    I am curious about what they (the adults, not the children) know about what is awaiting them at the US border.
    I fear that there will be some manufactured excuse of a threat and these people will be killed by the thousands of military troops and weaponry being aligned at the border.
    Why does the picture of the single individual in China facing a tank in Tiananmen Square come to mind? Would our troops shoot?

  • Guest

    Stopping illegal immigration is not because they are bad people but because there are 11 million + today and more coming. With every reason to think they can show up, claim asylum, get a court date in two years for John Doe and disappear.

    • Ickster

      This begs the question about what’s so wrong about just letting people in. I don’t know the source of the 11M people, but that works out to 0.03% (correction — 3.3%) of the US population. What about that tiny slice warrants the ever-more strident response we’ve seen over the last couple of decades?

      • BReynolds33

        Just letting people in worked for almost two centuries of our history. I’m with you. I don’t get the fear.

        • Erin

          You cannot simultaneously have open borders and a welfare state. Which do you choose?

          • BReynolds33

            Well, since the premise of your statement is flawed, there is no reason to actually address it. I have no need to choose between two things in a made up false dichotomy.

          • Erin

            So there is no end to the money it takes to fund a welfare state?

          • BReynolds33

            Again, your premise is flawed.

          • Erin

            Ok, you clearly understand scarce resources better than me. Enjoy!

          • BReynolds33

            Oh look, another flawed premise. Surprising.

      • bri-bri

        Don’t forget to slide that decimal two spots left for a percentage. 11,000,000 is about 3.3% of the US population of roughly 325,000,000.

        • Ickster

          You’re right. Guess I’m fine at division, but not so good at converting to percentages.

      • Karl Crabkiller

        A recent Yale University study estimates 22 million undocumented (illegal) people reside in the USA…

        • Ickster

          So? You’re not answering the question about what’s so wrong with those people that they shouldn’t be allowed to come here.

    • The president says it’s because they’re bad people.

      And Fox news, which, curiously stopped talking about it around the time the polls closed.

      Big shock.

      • Erin

        You don’t even pretend to be objective, do you?

        • BReynolds33

          You are a master at flawed premises, aren’t you?

          • Erin

            Thanks for pitching in, but the question wasn’t directed to you.

          • BReynolds33

            No problem. It’s almost like you posted on a public site.

          • kevins


        • Well it’s an interesting question which I’ve answered dozens of times before and while I doubt you’re actually interested in an informed discussion of “objectivity,” I’ll provide you the opportunity anyway.

          Here: Go spend 90 minutes and become more informed on the word you’re using so haphazardly.


          On a lesser scale, this is a blog where I offer observations. It’s not a news story. It says so right up there to the left of the page.

          There’s nothing wrong with an INFORMED opinion. I’m under no responsibility to make you happy with it. Nor am I under any professional obligation for it to conform to yours.

          So the real question is, if you disagree with that informed opinion, are you capable and interesting in offering another perspective?

          You didn’t because — one presumes — you’ve been conditioned to meet observations with which you disagree with the theater of attack. You can hardly be blamed, it’s what a generation has been raised to believe is what constitutes discussion and debate.

          Whether you choose that or reflexively go into attack and talking points mode is up to you. My job is to give you the opportunity for discussion.

          Did the president characterize them as bad people. Yes. That’s a fact. Did Fox cut back its coverage? Yes. That’s a fact too.

          So do a little research on this question of what objectivity is, what observation is and their logical role in a space as this and get back to me.

          Hope we hear from you again in 90 minutes. I’ll be here.

          • Erin

            Appreciate the response and certainly will take a look when my work day is done.
            I don’t blame you for assuming I’m another BReynolds33, but I have a long background in debate and recognize it’s sorely missing in what passes for social media. My more substantive/philosophical comments are elsewhere in this blog.

          • Your more substantive comments elsewhere on this blog are under a different username given that you only joined Disqus under this account 10 days ago and have posted only 8 comments, 7 of which are on this page and 1 which was flagged on Powerline.

            So you just outed yourself. That means you’ve trolled here — probably under numerous accounts — and now you’ve dropped in to try to give it another shot under another name.

            Go now. I’m really good at my job.

          • >>1 which was flagged on Powerline.<<

            That is telling.

          • BReynolds33

            A long background in debate, and nearly every one of your comments starts with a flawed premise? Interesting debate background.

    • BReynolds33

      With every reason to think they can show up and request asylum? They literally have that right. Under the UN Charter (ratified by the Senate), several international treaties (ratified by the Senate), and about a dozen US federal laws (passed by both houses of Congress, and signed by the President.)

      They have every right to do exactly what they are doing. Beyond the codified rights listed above, they have a human right to escape death.

    • jon

      Is that why Trump killed the case worker program that had some 99% of those asylum seekers coming back for their court date? Because it seems like killing programs that worked for asylum seekers and kept track of them is the exact opposite of what you would want….

      Of course it was an Obama era policy.

    • kevins

      That sick 4 year old is a threat..only to those that lack even the tinyist dab of empathy.

      • wjc

        Empathy is sorely lacking these days in many quarters.

      • Erin

        Unfettered immigration of unskilled immigrants isn’t a threat to me but it is a threat to unskilled citizens and their opportunities. I have empathy for them. Do you?

        • kevins

          Unskilled potential employees in the USA have a rainbow of opportunities waiting for them if they choose to use them. Sick 4 year olds in the midst of walking 2000 miles simply don’t.

        • BReynolds33

          No it isn’t, and there is no data to support your opinion that it is.

      • Ben Chorn

        And to all the anti-vaccination nuts

  • Blasko

    I understand the need for border security, sure, who doesn’t? What I hate to see is the vilification and cruelty. It doesn’t seem too much to ask for a president to speak respectfully about the lives and dreams of those seeking prosperity and better lives for their kids – these are cornerstone US stories, too. Speak honestly about our long-standing participation in the 1967 Protocol relating to the status of refugees. State clearly what you see is within our ability to help, and what’s not. Prepare aid workers to work with the military to process asylum requests, and work with Latin American partners to help foster growth and opportunity within depressed regions to minimize displacement. These seem like things a great nation might do – to me at least.