The photo of a 2-year-old Honduran girl crying while she watches a U.S Border Patrol agent pat down her mother and which quickly became a symbol for those protesting President Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy at the U.S.-Mexico border, even being used on a Time magazine cover was not an instance of a child being separated from her mother as the media had led the public to believe.
Wow. What a powerful and heartbreaking front page.
'A 2-year-old Honduran girl cries as her mother is detained near the Mexican border in McAllen, Texas.' pic.twitter.com/FAjDWN0FCc
— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) June 16, 2018
But according to the girl’s father, Denis Javier Varela Hernandez — who didn’t know that the mother had taken the child — was never separated from her when they were detained.
Varela’s story was confirmed to Reuters by Honduran deputy foreign minister Nelly Jerez.
The Time cover for July 2 shows the little girl looking up at President Trump with a link in a tweet to explain why it was chosen for the cover.
“Due to the power of the image, which appeared as critics from across the political spectrum attacked President Trump’s now-reversed policy of separating children from parents who are being detained for illegally entering the United States, TIME’s editors selected Moore’s photograph to create a photo illustration, including Trump, to make the July 2, 2018, cover of the magazine.”
The story behind TIME's Trump "Welcome to America" cover https://t.co/zTTjFs9leu
— TIME (@TIME) June 22, 2018
The man who took the photo, John Moore, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer for Getty Images and told the Washington Post that even though he had witnessed the mother and daughter leaving together in a Customs and Border Protection van, he speculated that federal policies would separate them once they reached their destination.
A Facebook fundraiser that used the image has collected more than $18 million to date showing just how effective it has been for those that oppose the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
Despite being heavily criticized for the photo Time is standing behind its cover.
..Under the policy enforced by the administration, prior to its reversal this week, those who crossed the border illegally were criminally prosecuted, which in turn resulted in the separation of children and parents. Our cover and our reporting capture the stakes of this moment.”
— Hadas Gold (@Hadas_Gold) June 22, 2018