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Posted under: Trending News

The Photographer Behind This Heartbreaking Photo From The Border Reveals The Story Behind The Image

The image is now serving as the visual representation of the ICE crisis.

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As facts and data about the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's immigration prosecution zero-tolerance policy (the one separating children from their parents at the border) arrive, it's also important to remember the humans affected by this crisis.

We've seen many images taken at the Mexican/United States border, but one particular picture has gone viral in a way that even the photos of little children in cages did not.

In the picture, a two-year-old girl in a pink jacket stands surrounded by faceless adults, desperately crying as she looks up at her mother with a face of total helplessness. Her mother's face isn't visible, and according to the Huffington Post, a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent was searching her at the time of the photo. 

The image broke the hearts of many. The photographer behind the photo, John Moore, decided to come forward with the story behind that heartbreaking moment.

“[The mother] was told to set the child down while she was searched. The little girl immediately started crying,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer told NPR. “I took only a few photographs, and was almost overcome with emotion myself.” 

Moore told Getty Images' FOTO that the mother-daughter had been traveling from Honduras “a full month and were exhausted" by the time they reached the border. Moore has extensive experience covering the U.S./Mexico border but said this moment felt "different" to him. 

Moore recently appeared on CNN to discuss the behind-the-scenes moments leading up to this very viral photo, as well as how it affected him as a father. 

"For me to take these pictures – scenes that I'd seen before – but, with the knowledge that these parents and their children will soon be in separate detention facilities made it hard for me, personally, as a journalist, as a human being and especially as a father," Moore noted. 

Moore confirmed the mother and daughter were taken to a processing center via van and is unsure of their current status. 

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Tonja Renée Stidhum is a writer/director made of sugar and spice and everything rice. She has the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.