Time magazine has issued a correction to a controversial cover story about a Honduran migrant girl who they said was taken from her mother by US border patrol agents after it was revealed that the pair were never separated at all.
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.
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'.
As millions shared Yanela's photograph on social media and attached to fundraisers for other children who have been separated from their families, Time used it on its cover. The magazine photoshopped an image to place her at the foot of a towering Donald Trump and the words 'Welcome to America' appeared next to it.
The July cover of Time features three-year-old Yanela Denise screaming beneath a towering Donald Trump along with the words 'Welcome to America'. Inside the magazine, it was claimed that she was taken 'screaming' from her mother by US Border Patrol agents which is not the case
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.
Time issued its correction on Friday after US and Honduran officials, along with the girl's father, confirmed that this was not the case.
'The original version of this story misstated what happened to the girl in the photo after she (was) taken from the scene.
'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 said.Our cover and our reporting capture the stakes of this moment Time Editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal
Editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal stood by using the picture, saying that while Yanela herself may not have been taken by agents, the photograph and her desperation in it encapsulates the mood of the issue.
'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.'
Readers are now asking for Time to pay her as if they would a professional model in the hopes that any compensation she is given can be used to set up a legal or college fund.
The magazine has not commented on whether or not it plans to do so.
Yanela and her mother Sandra (shown above together before they embarked for the US on June 3 from Honduras) are still together and are being held at a detention center in Texas
The picture that started it all: Getty photographer John Moore took this photo of Yanela on June 12. Her mother had just out her down to be questioned by agents and she began screaming. Moore gave an interview to Time about it afterwards saying he did not know what became of the pair afterwards. Despite no one ever confirming that they were separated, Yanela became the face of the issue and the picture spread like wildfire on social media
Earlier this week, her father Denis told DailyMail.com that he had not heard from Sandra for 10 days, since she embarked on her journey with Yanela, when he saw the heartbreaking image of his daughter crying.
'You can imagine how I felt when I saw that photo of my daughter. 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,' he said.
Denis Javier Varela Hernandez (far right) said he had no idea what had happened to his daughter until he saw the photograph of her crying on June 12. His wife Sandra took her without telling him to try to enter the US illegally. The couple has three other children in Honduras who were left behind. Denis says he just wants them to either be sent back to Honduras or gain entry to the US
Denis revealed that he received a phone call from a US official on Wednesday to tell him the pair were safe.
Yanela's father said he does not know why her mother took on the journey when neither of them knew what could happen to her but is relieved that she is safe
Sandra has already been deported from the US once in 2013. She did not tell Denis that she was planning another attempt to cross the border and he did not know that she wanted to take Yanela with him.
'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.'
They have three other children who she left at home who are now waiting anxiously for her be sent back.
'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.'
Among those who have Tweeted DailyMail.com’s story have been White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
She wrote: ‘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’.
On Saturday morning, the president retweeted it himself.