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TIME Issues Retraction on its Immigration Cover Story

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When Time magazine published their latest issue, the cover caught people’s attention. The stark red background highlighted President Trump looking down at migrant girl that the magazine claimed had been separated from her parents. The image, though fabricated, was brutal. The image’s caption read “Welcome to America.”

Inside, the article on migrant children argued that the Honduran girl had been taken from her parents at the border. There was only one problem. The girl who had become the literal poster child of the child separation argument had not been separated from her parent.

“Three-year-old Yanela Denise became the unintentional face of the now defunct family separation crisis after photographer John Moore captured her agonized face screaming as her mother was questioned by agents on June 12,” The Daily Mail writes.

“After the picture was taken, the pair were taken together to a family detention center. Yanela’s father has since told DailyMail.com that they are ‘safe’.”

“In the story, despite Moore having told the magazine that he did not know what became of the girl after he took the picture, the journalist wrote that she had been taken away like the thousands of other children who have been,” DM notes.

Time has now backtracked. “The original version of this story misstated what happened to the girl in the photo after she (was) taken from the scene,” they wrote in their retraction.

“The girl was not carried away screaming by US Border Patrol agents; her mother picked her up and the two were taken away together,” the magazine added.

Yet Time’s Editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal is standing behind the image. “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,” he writes.

“Our cover and our reporting capture the stakes of this moment.”

Yanela and her mother Sandra are now being held in a detention center in Texas.

“You can imagine how I felt when I saw that photo of my daughter,” Denis Javier Varela Hernandez told The Daily Mail. “It broke my heart. It’s difficult as a father to see that, but I know now that they are not in danger. They are safer now than when they were making that journey to the border.”

The father wasn’t aware that the girl’s mother intended to head to the border. “I didn’t support it. I asked her, why? Why would she want to put our little girl through that? But it was her decision at the end of the day.”

The woman left three of their other children at home with their father.

“The kids see what’s happening. They’re a little worried but I don’t try to bring it up that much. They know their mother and sister are safe now.”