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Father of Crying Child at Border Says His Daughter Wasn't Separated From Her Mother

You've probably seen it by now: a photo of a young Honduran girl in a pink jacket sobbing uncontrollably at the border. It's been going viral, and for those against Trump's crackdown on illegal immigration, the girl has become a poster child for the terrible injustices done to desperate families seeking asylum.

As powerful as the image is, however, it may not be painting an accurate picture.

The photo was snapped by John Moore, a Getty Images photographer, and has recently been used on the cover of Time Magazine. Not the whole picture; just a cut-out of the crying girl. Her eyes are turned upward, and President Donald Trump looms over the little girl, looking down at her. "Welcome to America," the caption reads.

Mr. Denis Valera has come forward to speak out about the photo. He says the little girl in it is his daughter. He tells Reuters that his daughter and her mother, Sandra Sanchez, are being housed together at a facility on the Texas border.

The mother applied for asylum, and she and her daughter spent all of two minutes that night being checked in by border patrol.

Agent Carlos Ruiz of border patrol told CBS that the real story behind the picture is quite simple. "We were patrolling the border. It was after 10 o'clock at night," he recals. "We asked her to set the kid down in front of her, not away from her, she was right in front of her... So we can properly search the mother."

The little girl, about two, immediately began to cry. "I personally went up to the mother and asked her 'Are you doing OK? Is the kid OK?' and she said, 'Yes. She's tired and thirsty. It's 11 o'clock at night.'"

Ruiz says it is unfair the way the media has been trying to use the photo to portray border patrol as villains who ripped a mother and child apart.

"They're using it to symbolize a policy and that was not the case in this picture," Ruiz said. "It took less than two minutes. As soon as the search was finished, she immediately picked the girl up, and the girl immediately stopped crying."

Varela confirmed that Sanchez and his daughter have not been separated, but he believes that the photo of his daughter might have had an impact on Trump's change of heart. A month after implementing his 'zero-tolerance' policy, President Trump signed an executive order that would keep families from being separated at the border.

"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... Seeing what was happening to her in that moment breaks anyone's heart."

Moore says he never imagined what an impact the photo would have.

"When I took this picture, I knew it would be important. I had no way of knowing that it would touch people quite on the level that it has," Moore said to CBS. "I asked her how long she'd been traveling, and she gave me this very weary look, and she said she'd been on the road with her daughter for a month…. Imagine doing that with children. It's almost impossible to imagine, actually."

Source: AOL
Photos: Time/Twitter, Facebook, The White House/Flickr

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