Fact check: Time magazine cover girl wasn’t separated from her family

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After Time magazine’s powerful cover of Donald Trump and a crying little girl captured the heart of America — it turns out it’s not quite accurate:

  • The composited cover was based on a photo taken by John Moore near the U.S.-Mexican border.
  • The shot shows the girl, extracted from the scene near law enforcement vehicles and set against a red background.
  • Although the cover did not directly state that the child was separated from her parents, a caption in an online gallery posted before the print version was released did.

  • Moore contacted Time after seeing the error and requested a correction, which Time complied with.
  • The girl’s father, meanwhile, has come forward and confirmed that girl and family were not separated while in custody.
  • ICE confirms this account.
  • “My daughter has become a symbol of the … separation of children at the U.S. border. She may have even touched … Trump’s heart,” Denis Valera told Reuters (Reuters was not able to independently confirm Valera is the girl’s father).
  • White House official Sarah Sanders tweeted “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.”
  • Time, however, issued a statement standing by the cover: “The June 12 photograph of the 2-year-old Honduran girl became the most visible symbol of the ongoing immigration debate in America for a reason: Under the policy enforced by the administration, prior to its reversal this week, those who crossed the border illegally were criminally prosecuted, which in turn resulted in the separation of children and parents. Our cover and our reporting capture the stakes of this moment.”