EXCLUSIVE: 'They're together and safe: Father of Honduran two-year-old who became the face of family separation crisis reveals daughter was never separated from her mother, but the image of her in tears at U.S. border control ‘broke his heart’
Denis Javier Varela Hernandez spoke out about the status of his wife Sandra, 32, and daughter, Yanela, 2
Yanela became the face of the immigration crisis after a Getty photographer snapped a photo of her in tears
Speaking to DailyMail.com Hernandez said he has still not been in direct contact with his wife Sandra because he does not have a way of communicating
He says all he can do now is wait, and says he is happy that 'they are safer now than when they were making that journey to the border
Sandra was part of a group that were caught by Border Patrol agents after making their way across the Rio Grande river on a raft
She set out on her journey from Puerto Cortes, Honduras to the U.S. at 6am on June 3 and allegedly paid $6,000 for a coyote
Hernandez said he did not support his wife's decision to make the journey with their young daughter in her arms and never got to properly say goodbye
Father says little Honduran girl on Time cover was not taken from mother
By Gustavo Palencia
Reuters•June 21, 2018
TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - The Honduran toddler pictured sobbing in a pink jacket before U.S. President Donald Trump on an upcoming cover of Time magazine was not separated from her mother at the U.S. border, according to a man who says he is the girl's father.
Q: Speaking on that same line, the extent to which this humanitarian situation has been politicized, do you think there is still a path forward on immigration reform?
Leader Pelosi. Well, I hope that while some may have tried to politicize it, I hope that was not the case. And I think anyone who comes here knows that this is not about an issue, it’s about a value and it’s a value that we share, all Americans share; that we will show how strong we are to the rest of the world on how we deal with this humanitarian opportunity, or crisis, that we have.
A few days ago I would have been more optimistic about immigration reform. I thought that we were finding a way because we’ve been very patient and respectful of the Speaker trying to do it one way or the other. I don’t think he gives us much reason to be hopeful now, but we never give up. So, there’s still the month of July and again, public sentiment is everything. And to the extent that people say that this is something that we want that hopefully that can change the minds of the – we have a bill, H.R. 15, that has a huge number of co-sponsors – almost every Democrat. But the one’s we don’t have, we’ll have their vote – about three Republicans on the bill.
Transcript of Pelosi, Members of Congress and Advocates Press Conference Today After Touring South Texas Detention Facility
PRESS RELEASES 06.28.14
Former Obama administration DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson “freely admitted” to Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace that his department “expanded family detention” as well as detained some children alone, but added that he believed the decision “was necessary at the time.”
“Without a doubt the images, and the reality, from 2014, just like 2018, are not pretty,” Johnson said. “And so we expanded family detention. We had then 34,000 beds for family detention. Only 95 of 34,000 equipped to deal with families. And so we expanded it. I freely admit it was controversial. We believed it was necessary at the time. I still believe it is necessary to remain a certain capability for families.”
“We can’t have catch and release,” said Johnson. “And in my 3 years we deported or repatriated or returned over a million people.”
“We did not want to go so far as to separate families, but unless we deal with the underlying causes that are motivating people in the first place we are going to continue to bang our heads against the wall on this issue,” he said.
The Trump administration has come under significant fire of late for both expanded family detention as well as the individual detention of children, two policies that were in place under the Obama and previous administration