Crying girl's father pleased she raised awareness of migrants' plight

The father of the girl who is pictured crying on the cover of this week's Time magazine said he believed his daughter's picture has affected President Donald Trump's 'zero-tolerance' immigration policy.

The crying Honduran girl depicted in a widely-seen photograph that became a symbol for many of President Donald Trump's immigration policies was not actually separated from her mother, US government officials said on Friday.

Time magazine used the image of the girl, by Getty Images photographer John Moore, on its cover this week, next to a picture of a towering Mr Trump.

Time Trump
Photo credit: Time

In Honduras, the girl's father, Denis Varela, said he hadn't heard from his wife or daughter in almost three weeks, and that her mother, Sandra Sanchez took their daughter to the United States without telling him.

"Because of her picture the route for migrants in the United States has changed," Mr Varela said.

The two-year-old is in detention with her mother.
The two-year-old is in detention with her mother. Photo credit: Getty

The executive order signed this week by President Donald Trump stopped the separation of children from parents at the border, instead saying they should be detained together as their cases progress.

There have been signs at the border that the zero tolerance policy was slowing, but Justice Department and Homeland Security officials say the policy has not been reversed.

Mr Varela, a dockworker who lives in Puerto Cortes, Honduras, said that the ministry gave him the girl's detainee identification number a couple of days ago.

"[Ms Sanchez] had mentioned to me that she wanted to go to the United States because of the situation. We come from a family.... we have a humble background here," he said.

Mr Moore said that he was happy to hear that although Ms Sanchez and her daughter are being detained, they are still together.

Since April, more than 2000 children have been separated from their parents and placed in foster care or detention centres, which have been widely condemned.

APTN / Newshub.