Crying Girl Was Not Taken From Her Mother, Father Says

The little girl that made news around the world over a picture that shows her crying during a border detention was not taken from her mother, her father has revealed. A few days ago, a photo of a Honduran girl crying in a pink jacket was used by the Time magazine for its cover.

The photo, taken by photographer John Moore, was all over the news as well. The photographer told the BBC that the girl’s mother, Sandra Sanchez, had been breastfeeding her after crossing the Rio Grande and that the detention happened a few moments after that.

The photo sparked outrage around the world and the zero tolerance policy, announced in April, was heavily criticized. The girl’s father, Denis Valera, said his daughter and her mother were detained together, adding that the detention happened in McAllen when she was seeking asylum.

Mr. Valera told Reuters that his daughter has become a symbol of the separation of children at the border. Honduran Foreign Minister Nelly Jerez also spoke to Reuters and confirmed the story told by Mr. Valera.


Mr. Valera said that Ms. Sanchez and their daughter left Honduras without telling him or their three other children, who are living in Honduras. He also spoke to the Daily Mail and told the news site that Ms. Sanchez paid $6,000 to a smuggler so she could be brought across the border.

On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to end family separation. The order came hours after pictures and videos of detention centers surfaced. Audios of children crying as they were speaking to authorities also made news around the world.

Time magazine responded earlier today, saying the photo became the most visible symbol of the immigration debate. The magazine also changed its story, which originally said that the girl had been carried away screaming by border patrol agents.

The border patrol agent who stopped Ms. Sanchez with her daughter said that she was asked to set the child down. He explained that this was done to search Ms. Valera. He added that the kid started crying after that.

The photo, taken on June 12, has reportedly brought in millions of dollars in donations from a Facebook fundraiser and other organizations.

 


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