A photo showing a young migrant girl crying as her mother was detained by border patrol agents went viral and was put on the cover of the most recent issue of TIME magazine along with a photo of President Trump looking down at her and the words "Welcome to America." The magazine shared the cover on Twitter conflating the image with the Trump administration's previous policy of separating children from their parents when they are detained at the border.
While multiple media outlets used the image to attack Trump's "zero-tolerance" policy at the border, it turns out that the little girl was never separated from her mother. Instead, the two were taken to a detention facility in Texas. The girl's father spoke to the Daily Mail and explained that the two were taken together to a "family residential center" in Texas. Denis Javier Varela Hernandez, who lives in Puerto Cortes, Honduras was told by a Honduran official out that his wife and daughter were detained but were doing "fine." He said seeing the photo of his two-year-old daughter in the news broke his heart.
"You can imagine how I felt when I saw that photo of my daughter. It broke my heart. It's difficult as a father to see that, but I know now that they are not in danger. They are safer now than when they were making that journey to the border."
Hernandez said that he did not condone his wife taking their daughter on the dangerous 1,800-mile journey, but ultimately realized " it was her decision at the end of the day."
"I didn't support it. I asked her, why? Why would she want to put our little girl through that? But it was her decision at the end of the day."
His wife took his daughter and departed just before 6 am on June 3rd, without giving a chance for him to say goodbye. He has not heard from them since they left but he is hopeful they will either be granted asylum or sent back home.
Photo: Getty Images