NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - The photographer who took the photo of a distraught little migrant girl at the U.S.-Mexico border says the child was never separated from her mother.
The image of the girl- a two-year-old Honduran asylum seeker- has become the face of the migrant crisis. The photo, taken on June 12 in McAllen, Texas, even landed on the cover of Time magazine alongside President Donald Trump looking down at her.
Photographer John Moore told FOX 5 NY morning program 'Good Day NY' that he never imagined the photo would have taken on a life of its own.
"At the time I took this picture the child had been set down by the mother while she was body-searched before she was transported. She was on the ground and they were reunited. They went together to a processing center. I never saw them separated permanently," said Moore.
Many children at the processing centers are separated from their parents or guardians. Thousands have been sent to detention centers throughout the United States following the Trump administration's announcement of a 'zero tolerance' policy for illegal immigration at the border.
"In this case, the child and her mother had been traveling for a month. As you can imagine, they were probably in pretty tough shape, emotionally, and exhausted. I'm sure for that child at that moment it was very difficult,' said Moore.
The photographer who has been covering border issues for 10 years says the migrant crisis really began in 2014.
"I have seem some very difficult things," said Moore.
He noted the main difference between the Obama and Trump administration's handling of illegal immigrants at the border has been about policy.
"With the zero tolerance policy things have changed," said Moore.
He's hoping the renewed attention to the border will go a long way to help solve the crises.
"If everyone in this debate can see all the people, all the players as human beings and if we can humanize this issue, whether it's with pictures or with talking about it, we can come up with more humane solutions to very complicated situations," said Moore.