Father says little Honduran girl on Time cover was not taken from mother
The Honduran toddler pictured sobbing in a pink jacket before U.S. President Donald Trump on an upcoming cover of Time magazine was not separated from her mother at the U.S. 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 U.S. 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. “Seeing what was happening to her in that moment breaks anyone’s heart,” he said.
The photo was used on a Facebook fundraiser that drew more than $17 million dollars in donations from close to half a million people for the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), a Texas-based nonprofit that provides legal defense services to immigrants and refugees.
The Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy had led to the separation of 2,342 children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border between May 5 and June 9.
Video footage of separated children sitting in cages, an audiotape of wailing children and Moore’s photo had sparked worldwide anger over Trump’s immigration policies.
Sanchez and her daughter had left Puerto Cortes, a major Honduran port north of the capital city, Tegucigalpa, without telling Valera or the couple’s three other children, he said.
He said he imagined that Sanchez left with the little girl for the United States, where she has family, in search of better economic opportunities.
“If they are deported, that is OK as long as they do not leave the child without her mother,” Valera said. “I am waiting to see what happens with them.”
The countries sought out Nato membership earlier this year to guarantee their security in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin's offensive in Ukraine. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization's rules require the consent of all of its 30 existing members before Finland and Sweden can officially accede into the alliance, which is expected in the coming months.
Muhammad Syed, 51, an Albuquerque resident, was formally charged with two of the homicides: those of Aftab Hussein, 41, and Muhammed Afzaal Hussain, 27, killed on July 26 and August 1, respectively, but he is considered a suspect in all four murders, city Police Chief Harold Medina said at a news conference.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wants a one-year travel ban and the apparent expulsion of Russians living in the West so that they could live "in their own world until they change their philosophy." He complained that sanctions imposed so far on Russia to punish it for invading his country on February 24 were too weak.
Mykhailo Podolyak, asked by the Dozhd online television channel whether Kyiv was taking responsibility, replied: "Of course not. What do we have to do with this?"
Currently, no vaccine or treatment for Langya virus is available, and the only solution is supportive care to manage complications pertaining to the zoonotic disease. A study published earlier revealed that the Langya virus was first spotted in human beings in 2019, with majority of the recent cases this year.