The photo has become the face of the family separation crisis at the U.S. border. It shows a little girl crying out for her mommy after being separated from her by Border Patrol agents.
The photo was even plastered on the cover of TIME magazine in a rebuke to President Donald Trump.
There’s just one problem with the story behind the photo — it’s not true.
Denis Javier Varela Hernandez, the father of the little girl, told the Daily Mail that he saw the viral image after nearly three weeks of not hearing from his wife.
“You can imagine how I felt when I saw that photo of my daughter. It broke my heart. It's difficult as a father to see that, but I know now that they are not in danger. They are safer now than when they were making that journey to the border,” he said.
Hernandez also revealed that his wife and child were never separated after they were apprehended.
Bursting another narrative, Hernandez said his wife was not fleeing violence. She wanted to achieve the “American dream” and find a good job, he said.
“I didn't support it. I asked her, why? Why would she want to put our little girl through that? But it was her decision at the end of the day,” the father added.
Hernandez said he didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye to this daughter before the mother took their child on a dangerous 1,800-mile journey. He hopes his family is either granted asylum or deported back home to be with him.
“I don't have any resentment for my wife, but I do think it was irresponsible of her to take the baby with her in her arms because we don't know what could happen,” he told the Daily Mail.
Trump has since signed an executive order to keep immigrant families together and is calling on Congress to pass immigration reform.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders blasted Democrats and the media for exploiting the little girl to push an agenda.
"It’s shameful that dems and the media exploited this photo of a little girl to push their agenda. She was not separated from her mom. The separation here is from the facts. Dems should join POTUS and fix our broken immigration system. #ChangetheLaws," she tweeted.
Yet the media still wonder why President Trump calls them the "Fake News Media."