US President Donald Trump has made the cover of TIME magazine. But this time it may not be one to hang proudly on the walls of his golf resorts.
Against a vivid, red background, the iconic New York-based magazine has juxtaposed two separate images, showing the US President looking down at a sobbing two-year-old girl alongside the caption: “Welcome to America”, in a pointed commentary on the nation’s immigration stand-off.
The damning cover follows The Washington Post discovering at least five of the President’s golf clubs hung framed fake copies of TIME magazine covers featuring Mr Trump on the cover.
.@TIME Magazine has released their latest cover. It shows the president towering over a young, crying girl with the caption "Welcome to America." A now-iconic photo, taken last week, captured that girl as her mother was detained. pic.twitter.com/aM9riYiNGH
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) June 21, 2018
In an uncharacteristic move, the US President has not yet specifically commented on the TIME cover on social media.
However, Mr Trump, who persistently accuses the Democrats of being weak on immigration, said in a tweet on Friday: “We cannot allow our Country to be overrun by illegal immigrants as the Democrats tell their phony stories of sadness and grief, hoping it will help them in the [November] elections.”
It was not clear if he was referring to the photo of the Honduran toddler.
We must maintain a Strong Southern Border. We cannot allow our Country to be overrun by illegal immigrants as the Democrats tell their phony stories of sadness and grief, hoping it will help them in the elections. Obama and others had the same pictures, and did nothing about it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2018
Getty photographer John Moore’s image on June 12 of the two-year-old girl crying as her mother was searched by a US Customs and Border Patrol for crossing the US-Mexico border illegally has already resonated around the nation and the world.
The iconic image has come to powerfully symbolise the Trump administration’s now-reversed immigration policy, which separated children and parents at the US-Mexico border who attempted to enter the US illegally.
The original policy saw more than 2000 children separated from their parents since April.
“[The mother] was told to set the child down while she was searched. The little girl immediately started crying,” the photographer told US National Public Radio.
“I took only a few photographs and was almost overcome with emotion myself.”
— TIME (@TIME) June 21, 2018
However, the girl’s father, Denis Valera, a boat captain, told Reuters his daughter was kept with her mother, Sandra Sanchez, during their detention in the Texas border town of McAllen.
He also claimed his wife left with their daughter for America without telling him and paid $6000 to a “coyote” people smuggler to get her across the border.
Getty’s caption on the picture taken at the Texas border town of McAllen said the photo showed a two-year-old Honduran asylum seeker crying as her mother was searched and detained.
The caption said the detention could lead to possible separation, not that this had occurred.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Saturday (Friday local time) the mother and child had not been separated, and accused Democrats and the media of exploiting the picture.
On the same day, Time published a correction saying: “The original version of this story misstated what happened to the girl in the photo after she (was) taken from the scene. The girl was not carried away screaming by US Border Patrol agents; her mother picked her up and the two were taken away together.”
Photojournalist and immigrant Kainaz Amaria, writing for Vox, slammed TIME’s use of the photo.
“I see it as an insensitive and exploitative play to sell magazines – and one that, albeit unintentionally, offers up this personal tragedy to be memed and ridiculed,” Amaria wrote.
The TIME magazine cover follows Mr Trump signing an executive order on Thursday morning (Wednesday local time) to keep parents and their children together in a dramatic reversal of his controversial policy of separating migrant children from any parents who were arrested for illegal attempted entry.
“We’re signing an executive order. I consider it to be very important executive order,” Mr Trump said at the White House.
“It’s about keeping families together, while at the same time being sure we have a very powerful, very strong border.”
Mr Trump’s decision came a day after claims his administration’s hands were tied on family separation without congressional action. It’s thought First Lady Melania Trump played a part in Mr Trump’s softening of the policy.
The TIME magazine cover is not the only New York-based magazine to tackle the controversy emanating from the immigration crisis with The New Yorker sharing its July cover on Twitter.
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) June 21, 2018