Time Forced to Issue Correction: ‘The Girl Was Not Carried Away Screaming’

so called separated family - getty images - john moore
Getty Images/John Moore

Time magazine issued a correction Friday to an article about the iconic photograph of a two-year-old Honduran girl crying as U.S. Border Patrol searched her mother at the U.S.-Mexico border earlier this month.

The media claimed that the mother and child were separated after crossing the border illegally, under President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy. However, it emerged on Thursday that the two were never separated at all and are still together.

In addition, the mother had left Honduras without informing her husband. She had also been deported from the U.S. in 2013. And her motives for migrating appeared to be economic, not for reasons that would qualify her for asylum.

Time article told the story of how Getty Images photographer John Moore had captured the image. The original version of the Time story, however, had claimed that the child had been removed, screaming from her mother:

“When the officer told the mother to put her child down for the body search, I could see this look in the little girl’s eyes,” Moore told TIME. “As soon as her feet touched the ground she began to scream.”

Moore said the girl’s mother had a weariness in her eyes as she was stopped by Border Patrol agents. The father of three said his years of experience did not inoculate him from feeling intense emotions as he watched agents carry away the screaming girl. But, he said, he knew he had to keep photographing the scene.

“This one was tough for me. As soon as it was over, they were put into a van. I had to stop and take deep breaths,” he said. “All I wanted to do was pick her up. But I couldn’t.”

The new version of the article reads (emphasis added):

“When the officer told the mother to put her child down for the body search, I could see this look in the little girl’s eyes,” Moore told TIME. “As soon as her feet touched the ground she began to scream.”

Moore said the girl’s mother had a weariness in her eyes as she was stopped by Border Patrol agents. The father of three said his years of experience did not inoculate him from feeling intense emotions as he watched agents allowed [sic] the mother to pick up her child and loaded them both into a van. But, he said, he knew he had to keep photographing the scene.

“This one was tough for me. As soon as it was over, they were put into a van. I had to stop and take deep breaths,” he said. “All I wanted to do was pick her up. But I couldn’t.”

A correction at the end of the article reads (original emphasis):

Correction: The original version of this story misstated what happened to the girl in the photo after she taken [sic] from the scene. The girl was not carried away screaming by U.S. Border Patrol agents; her mother picked her up and the two were taken away together.

The photograph has been used to raise $18 million through crowdfunding on Facebook for charities working with migrant families in Texas, under the misleading heading: “Reunite an immigrant parent with their child.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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