TIME Magazine released the cover of its upcoming July 2 issue this week, featuring an image of a Honduran toddler crying as she stands before an illustrated President Trump.
The original photograph of the child was taken by Getty photographer John Moore, and quickly became one of the most circulated images in the media frenzy surrounding the Trump administration’s enforcement of the zero-tolerance border policy.
Newspapers, magazines, and countless online media platforms used the image to criticize the president and decry the zero-tolerance immigration policy, pointing to it as ‘proof’ of the administration’s supposed cruelty.
In an official statement, the editorial staff of TIME explained they had chosen the image as they felt it portrayed “the most visible symbol of the immigration debate in America”.
As the image continued to circulate, readers speculated about the life of the child. It was assumed she was separated from her mother, which the TIME cover and headline – “Welcome to America”, with the president hovering intimidatingly over the child – very clearly suggested.
However, on Thursday afternoon, a bombshell was revealed:
The child in the photo had not been separated from her mother.
Denis Javier Varela Hernandez, the young girl’s father, said he recognized his daughter in the photo and worried that she had been separated from her mother. But after contacting officials, Varela learned that his daughter and wife had not been separated and were, in fact, being held together in a McAllen, Texas family detention center.
A representative from U.S. Customs and Border Protection later confirmed that the mother and child had not been separated. ICE officials also confirmed that the two are being held together, adding that they were never separated upon arrest in the first place.
The anti-Trump media, however, refused to let facts get in the way of their narrative.
Media outlets continued using the photo to advance their agenda, railing against the family separation policy and zero-tolerance border law – despite being fully aware that the mother and child in the photo were not separated by the president’s immigration policy.
The president has since reversed course and on Thursday, signed an executive order ending the policy on separating families at the border – the policy itself being an extension of border security policies implemented by former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. President Trump has stated that although the separation policy will end, the zero-tolerance border crackdown will continue in order to achieve the highest level of security for our country.
While family separation may be over, the fake news media is still alive and well.
TIME’s deliberately misleading cover, along with widespread use of the image by other outlets, is nothing but media manipulation. Those complicit in the dishonest distribution of the photograph have shown that they care more about advancing an open borders agenda than the truth, and that they will do whatever it takes to smear President Trump – facts be damned.