Time defends cover with viral photo of crying immigrant girl

Time defends cover with viral photo of crying immigrant girl
© Time

Time magazine is defending a cover that critics claim inaccurately depicts a migrant child as being separated from her parents, insisting the "cover and our reporting capture the stakes of this moment."

“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,” a Time spokesman said in a statement provided to CNN on Friday.

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“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," the spokesman added. "Our cover and our reporting capture the stakes of this moment."

The latest issue of Time shows a cover illustrated with President TrumpDonald John TrumpReporters defend CNN's Acosta after White House says he 'disrespected' Trump with question Security costs of Trump visit to Scotland sparks outrage among Scottish citizens Ex-CIA officer: Prosecution of Russians indicted for DNC hack 'ain't ever going to happen' MORE looking at a 2-year old crying girl, with a caption reading "Welcome to America."

It quickly went viral amid media coverage of the administration's policy of separating children from parents awaiting prosecution for crossing the border illegally. Approximately 2,300 migrant children have been affected by the policy, which Trump halted with an executive order on Wednesday.

The father of the girl in the photograph, though, said in a Thursday interview that she was never separated from her mother. He said the child was only briefly kept aside to allow border agents to conduct a pat-down of the parent. It was also reported on Friday that the mother was deported in 2013, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

Conservatives slammed the cover after it was revealed the parents were never separated from their child, calling it another example of "fake news" and liberal bias.