Crying Immigrant Girl Made as Poster Child of Separations Was Never Separated From Her Family
The 2-year-old Honduran girl who became a poster child for the controversial border separation crisis after being photographed when she and her mother attempted to cross into the United States were never actually split apart, according to the young child’s father and the Honduran government.
Denis Javier Varela Hernandez told The Daily Mail he had not heard from his wife for almost three weeks until he saw their now-viral photo, which was used this week for Time magazine’s cover story about the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy.
Despite the little girl’s celebrity, Honduran deputy foreign minister Nelly Jerez confirmed Hernandez’s story in a statement to Reuters on Thursday.
The Honduran government has confirmed to Reuters that the crying girl on the TIME cover was never separated from her mother by US authorities https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-photo/father-says-little-honduran-girl-on-time-cover-was-not-taken-from-mother-idUSKBN1JI07W …
“You can imagine how I felt when I saw that photo of my daughter. It broke my heart,” Hernandez said. “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 he and his wife, Sandra, had argued over whether to make the journey from Honduras to the the United States.
“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,” he explained.
Sandra was seeking a better job in America and her friends told her husband she paid $6,000 for a “coyote” — a term for someone who smuggles immigrants across the U.S.-Mexico border — to guide she and their 2-year-old daughter on the trek north.
“I don't have any resentment for my wife, but I do think it was irresponsible of her to take the baby with her in her arms because we don't know what could happen,” Hernandez said.
The image of their daughter crying at the border has been used to criticize President Donald Trump's “zero tolerance” immigration policy. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was quick to condemn Time for using the misleading photo to “push their agenda.”
It’s shameful that dems and the media exploited this photo of a little girl to push their agenda. She was not separated from her mom. The separation here is from the facts. Dems should join POTUS and fix our broken immigration system. #ChangetheLawshttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5869829/Father-two-year-old-face-child-separation-crisis-speaks-out.html …
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) 9:51 AM - Jun 22, 2018