The Honduran toddler pictured sobbing in a pink jacket before US President Donald Trump on an upcoming cover of Time magazine was not separated from her mother at the US border, according to a man who says he is the girl’s father.
The powerful original photograph, taken at the scene of a border detention by Getty Images photographer John Moore, became one of the iconic images in the flurry of media coverage about the separation of families by the Trump administration.
Dozens of newspapers and magazines around the globe published the picture, swelling the tide of outrage that pushed Trump to back down Wednesday and say families would no longer be separated.
“My daughter has become a symbol of the ... separation of children at the US border. She may have even touched President Trump’s heart,” Denis Valera told Reuters in a telephone interview.
Valera said the little girl and her mother, Sandra Sanchez, have been detained together in the Texas border town of McAllen, where Sanchez has applied for asylum, and they were not separated after being detained near the border.
Honduran deputy foreign minister Nelly Jerez confirmed Valera’s version of events.
Varela said he was awestruck and pained when he first saw the photo of his crying daughter on TV.