Cry­ing girl not sep­a­rated from mom – dad

Pretoria News Weekend - - NEWS -

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 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 on 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 said.

Valera said the lit­tle girl and her mother, San­dra Sanchez, had been de­tained to­gether in the Texas bor­der town of McAllen, where Sanchez ap­plied for asy­lum.

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. “See­ing what was hap­pen­ing to her in that mo­ment breaks any­one’s heart.”

The photo was used on a Face­book fund-raiser that drew about $17 mil­lion (nearly R229m) in do­na­tions from close to half a mil­lion peo­ple for the Refugee and Im­mi­grant Cen­tre for Ed­u­ca­tion and Le­gal Ser­vices, a Texas-based or­gan­i­sa­tion that pro­vides le­gal de­fence ser­vices to im­mi­grants and refugees.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s “zero-tol­er­ance” im­mi­gra­tion pol­icy led to sep­a­ra­tion of 2 342 chil­dren from their par­ents at the US-Mex­ico bor­der be­tween May 5 and June 9.

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