Time trumps Trump again: Pulitzer Prize-winning John Moore's photo of Honduran girl triggers immigration debate

Time magazine has always known to come up with unique covers of raging issues and this time it's no different. When the entire world is shocked by the heart-wrenching photos of children being separated from parents at the US-Mexico border, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer John Moore's work has made it to the magazine's July cover as a part of an interesting graphic.

 Time trumps Trump again: Pulitzer Prize-winning John Moores photo of Honduran girl triggers immigration debate

Cover of the July edition of Time magazine. Image courtesy: Time

The cover shows a two-year-old Honduran girl actually crying before US president Donald Trump, almost in a way of pleading the US president to let her stay with her parents and the caption goes as "Welcome to America". The original photograph, that had gone viral, captured a Honduran girl crying as her mother was being detained in McAllen in Texas.

According to Time, Moore had said,“This one was tough for me. As soon as it was over, they were put into a van. I had to stop and take deep breaths.” Moore further said that he really wanted to "pick the girl up" at that moment but he couldn't. The image has triggered a debate among critics across the political spectrum who have gone onto attack President Trump’s now-reversed policy of separating children from parents who are then being illegally detained for entering the US.

Moore has been covering the plight of immigrants on the US-Mexico border for years since the end of the George W Bush administration. However, this time the Getty Images photographer was clear that things are different. Moore has documented diseases, wars and refugee crises across the world. This is the story of how he found a little girl and her mother beside the Rio Grande last week and took what could be one of the most high-impact photos of his career.

According to Washington Post, Moore once spoke about how single people who crossed the river during the day and then ran or hid from the Border Patrol. However, the larger groups that crossed at night were often left with no option other than surrendering themselves to the first US agents they found. The photograph of the Honduran girl was just another such experience of a family trying to cross over Rio Grande’s northern bank.

Moore told the Post that in the dark he had not been able to count the number of women and children. As the spotlight fell on their faces, their faces exuded a mix of fear and relief. That's when the award-winning photographer had realised that this would be an exceptional experience in his entire body of work.

In Texas, hundreds of unaccompanied children, individual adults, and parents with their children are being kept in series of metal cages in an old warehouse. The Associated Press quoted the Border Patrol as saying that close to 200 people inside the facility were minors, unaccompanied by a parent.

Amid all kinds of torture, unaccompanied immigrant children held at a detention centre in the US state of Texas were also forcibly given a variety of psychotropic drugs, claimed a lawsuit, IANS reported.The lawsuit that was made public on Wednesday alleged that immigrant children at Shiloh Treatment Centre in Houston, a government-run facility that houses unaccompanied migrant kids, were held down and told they would not be able to see their parents unless they took the psychiatric drugs.

The new Trump administration policy, which went into effect in May, sought to maximise criminal prosecutions of people caught trying to enter the US illegally. More adults were being put behind bars as a result, which had led to their children being separated from them. Since Attorney-General Jeff Sessions announced the policy, nearly 2,000 children have been taken away from their parents. Church groups and human rights advocates have sharply criticised the policy, calling it inhumane.

With inputs from The Associated Press

Updated Date: Jun 21, 2018 22:25:20 IST