TIME Magazine: Cover Image of Crying Honduran Girl Is Fake but Accurate


TIME Magazine issued a major correction Friday on a story about the infamous sobbing Honduran toddler Yanela Denise — but insisted that its cover image linking the migrant girl to President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” border enforcement policy is still accurate.

“The original version of this story misstated what happened to the girl in the photo after she taken from the scene,” the correction reads. “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.”

Shortly after making the correction, the magazine issued a statement affirming it still stands by its controversial cover depicting President Donald Trump callously standing over the child migrant.

“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,” TIME said in a statement. “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.”

The Washington Post and CNN lavished praise on TIME’s cover design Thursday, calling it “powerful” and “resonant.”

“It shows the compassion gap that exists between the Trump administration’s ‘zero-tolerance’ border policy and the real-life people that are affected,” gushed CNN’s Chris Cillizza.

CBS News provided more context to TIME’s erroneous reporting on Friday, as one of the border agents who encountered the girl and her mother told the outlet that Yanela Denise was crying due to thirst and lack of sleep.

“We were patrolling the border. It was after 10 o’clock at night,” Border agent Carlos Ruiz told CBS News. “We asked her to set the kid down in front of her, not away from her, she was right in front of her… So we can properly search the mother.

“So the kid immediately started crying as she set her down. I personally went up to the mother and asked her ‘Are you doing OK? Is the kid OK?’ and she said, ‘Yes. She’s tired and thirsty. It’s 11 o’clock at night.”


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