The Biden campaign launched a new campaign ad that attacks former President Donald Trump for his family separation policy, but the ad contains a viral image that was debunked as never having to do with family separation.

The campaign commercial begins with a headline that reads “Trump ripped families apart” and features him making controversial remarks about border enforcement and includes numerous images of detained migrants. However, one notable image included in the ad is a picture of a migrant girl that went viral several years ago, but was later proven to have nothing to do with family separation.


The image, which appears at the 7-second marker of the campaign ad, features a very young girl in a red sweater crying as her mother is being patted down by a Border Patrol agent.

That picture was taken in 2018 by a Getty photographer and immediately went viral at the time, with numerous critics of the Trump administration claiming the image was an embodiment of Trump’s now-defunct zero tolerance policy of illegal border crossings. TIME Magazine, for example, featured the image of the girl on their cover, with Trump photoshopped next to her, with the title “Welcome to America.”


It was later discovered that the girl was, in fact, never actually separated from her mother.

The girl, a two-year-old Guatemalan child named Yanela, was simply set down briefly as border agents conducted a quick pat-down of her mother, Sandra Sanchez. It was also discovered that the mother had been previously deported from the U.S. before in 2013.

TIME Magazine later issued a correction to an article about the viral photo, clarifying that she was never separated from her mother.

“The original version of this story misstated what happened to the girl in the photo after she [was] taken from the scene,” the correction read. “The girl was not carried away screaming by U.S. Border Patrol agents; her mother picked her up and the two were taken away together.”

The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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