A photo of a 2-year-old girl crying near the US-Mexico border – a child who became an iconic face of President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy last year – has won the World Press Photo of the Year award.
The image, titled “Crying Girl on the Border,” was taken by Getty photographer and Pulitzer Prize-winner John Moore on June 12 near McAllen, Texas.
The Netherlands-based World Press Photo organization announced the award Thursday evening at a ceremony in Amsterdam.
“I think this image touched many people’s hearts, as it did mine, because it humanizes a larger story,” the organization quoted Moore as saying.
Before the photo was taken, the Honduran girl and her mother had rafted with others across the Rio Grande and were stopped in Texas by US Border Patrol agents.
Agents were searching people before they were put into vans to be driven to a processing center. Moore took the award-winning picture after the toddler’s mother set her down so that the mother could be searched.
“One of the last people to get on the bus was the mother of this child and her daughter together,” Moore told CNN’s Ana Cabrera last year. “And when they went to body-search (the mother) against the vehicle, they asked her to put down her child. And right then, in that moment, the little girl broke into tears.”
The annual photo award, decided by a jury of photojournalists and photographers, carries a prize of 10,000 euros (nearly $11,300).
Photo appeared as controversy about immigration policy heated up
Photos that Moore took of the girl that night were widely published amid a fierce public debate last year about the Trump administration’s immigration policies, which effectively resulted in children being separated from adults after they crossed the US border from Mexico.
Children could not follow their adult family members or guardians into custody, so US guidelines mandated that those children be separated – often from their parents.
Later that month, Trump signed an executive order reversing the policy to separate children from adults.
A similar photo was used in a Time magazine cover
A different photo of the girl – taken by Moore on the same night, with the crying girl gazing upward – was used as part of Time magazine’s July 2 cover.
In a photo illustration, Trump looms over the sobbing child. “Welcome to America,” the illustration reads.
Moore told Time that he had to “stop and take deep breaths” after capturing images of the girl.
CNN’s Madison Park, Kyle Almond and AJ Willingham contributed to this report.