WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Time Magazine unveiled a new cover for next month’s issue showing U.S President Donald Trump standing before a crying little immigrant girl wearing a pink jacket.
- According to a man claiming to be her father, the Honduran girl was not taken away from her mother.
- The powerful photo caught worldwide attention, instantly becoming the symbol of the Trump administration’s family-separation immigration policy.
Getty Images photographer, John Moore, shot the striking picture of the crying Honduran girl at the border and soon turned it into a highlight amidst the controversy of the Trump administration’s separation of families.
After a global resentment, Trump was forced to concede on Wednesday, stating that families will no longer be separated.
In a telephone interview by Reuters, Denis Valera, the man who claims he’s the girl’s father, stated “My daughter has become a symbol of the … separation of children at the U.S. border. She may have even touched President Trump’s heart.”
The father said that the girl’s mother, Sandra Sanchez, was seeking for an asylum in the Texas border town of McAllen where they were held, but were not separated.
Nelly Jerez, Honduran deputy foreign minister, confirmed Valera’s claims.
Seeing the picture of his child crying on TV left Valera stunned and hurt.
“Seeing what was happening to her in that moment breaks anyone’s heart,” he said.
A Facebook charity event used the photograph to haul in donations that grew to over $17 million dollars from as many as half million citizens for RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services), an organization providing legal defense services to immigrants and refugees.
Between May 5 and June 9, about 2,342 children were taken away from their parents by Trump’s administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy.
Global outrage rose against Trump’s immigration policies when video footages of separated children sitting in cages came out. An audiotape of wailing children and Moore’s photo also sparked anger.
Valera said that Sanchez did not tell him or their three other children that they would leave Puerto Cortes, a major port in Honduras just north of the capital, Tegucigalpa.
Sanchez may have left for U.S with the child in hopes to find a better financial option since she has family there, Valera said.
Valers stated “If they are deported, that is OK as long as they do not leave the child without her mother,” followed by “I am waiting to see what happens with them.”