Two-year-old photographed crying at the US border with her mother

The two-year-old girl photographed crying while her mother was searched at the US-Mexico border is still with her mother.

Her father, Denis Javier Varela Hernandez, told Spanish-language TV network Univision they are together, but still being held US custody.

He is yet to speak to them, but was told the good news by officials.

Mr Hernandez said his "heart broke" when he saw his daughter on the news.

"The first time I said 'that's my little girl' when I saw the report.

"Of course I cried, it's really hard. I can imagine that my wife was very fearful crossing the border because she took the decision."

crying girl
The photo caused outrage worldwide. Photo credit: Getty

He says he urged his wife not to try and enter the US. She wanted to do it to seek a "better future" for the family. They left on June 3 after paying a smuggler US$6000, the Telegraph reports.

"I never got the chance to say goodbye to my daughter and now all I can do is wait."

He said the US' 'zero-tolerance' policy of separating children from their parents is "just not right", and the US should give up on its hardline stance.

"Immigration and drug smuggling across the United States border is never going to stop. They can build a wall and it's never going to stop."

It's since emerged the girl was one of the lucky few not separated from her parents - but thousands of others have.

Another Time cover for Trump

US President Donald Trump has in the past boasted about gracing the cover of Time magazine, but its latest issue is one he's unlikely to frame and put on the wall at Mar-a-Lago.

Time - July 2, 2018. Photo credit: Time

The July 2 edition features the US President staring down Mr Hernandez's daughter, photographed earlier this month after being separated from her family under the White House's hardline 'zero-tolerance' policy for asylum seekers and migrants crossing the border.

The plain red background is accompanied by an equally stark headline: 'Welcome to America.'

The photograph was taken by Pulitzer Prize winner John Moore. Last week he said it was an "especially difficult" photo to take, being a father himself.

"I could see on their faces that they had no idea what was about to happen."