Time Magazine cover shows Trump looking down on crying migrant toddler

Latest cover comes amid a backlash over the Trump administration policy of separating parents and children at the US border

Mythili Sampathkumar
New York
@MythiliSk
Thursday 21 June 2018 16:50
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Time Magazine's 2 July 2018 edition cover features Donald Trump and a two-year-old Honduran girl crying as her mother was taken by police for crossing the US-Mexico border illegally.
Time Magazine's 2 July 2018 edition cover features Donald Trump and a two-year-old Honduran girl crying as her mother was taken by police for crossing the US-Mexico border illegally.

The Trump administration's controversial policy of separating parents and children on the US border has spared a public backlash, but Time magazine's powerful new cover sees Donald Trump treating the issue with apparent indifference.

The cover shows Mr Trump looming over a crying toddler with the words “Welcome to America” as the headline.

The two-year-old Honduran girl appearing on the cover was photographed by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer John Moore at the US-Mexico border.

Mr Moore said the assignment was “tough".

"As soon as it was over, they were put into a van," he said. "I had to stop and take deep breaths”.

“All I wanted to do was pick her up. But I couldn’t,” Mr Moore told the magazine,

The cover was revealed the day after Mr Trump signed an executive order to stop the policy after widespread criticism from across the political spectrum.

Approximately 2,000 children have been separated from their families in the last month, some as young as four months old. The children have been detained thanks to a policy where parents or guardians are arrested for entering the country illegally, even if they had been seeking asylum.

The move was part of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' “zero tolerance” approach, which has essentially made seeking asylum a crime. Per US immigration law, asylum seekers must enter the country in order to apply for the protected status.

Audio, video, and several reports of children screaming for their family members went viral, along with sharp criticism from Democrats, Republicans, all living former first ladies, and even a rare statement from current First Lady Melania Trump.

Her communications director Stephanie Grisham told CNN that Ms Trump “hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform. She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart”. ​

For several days, Trump administration officials had said they were simply enforcing US law by carrying out the separations. However, no clause in US immigration law or court precedent compelled the action nor made asylum seeking a crime. It is a policy the president has always had the unilateral ability to rescind.

The executive order signed by the president on 20 June, an apparent sign of buckling to the massive public outrage, did not end the "zero tolerance" policy however, but did ensure children would be kept together with their families in detention centres.

However, activists noted that the families could now be detained for an indefinite amount of time. There was also no plan outlined in the executive order or other guidance from various government agencies for reuniting currently separated children with their families.

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