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Trump's 'Zero-Tolerance' Immigration Policy Is Tearing Families Like These Apart

Nick Wing

Last week, Getty photographer John Moore snapped a picture of a despondent Honduran girl sobbing as a U.S. Border Patrol agent frisked her mother near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Major newspapers splashed the photo of the 2-year-old on their front pages, where it quickly became a symbol of the Trump administration’s policy of systematically separating child migrants from their parents. (It’s not immediately clear what happened to the unidentified child and her mother.)

The young Honduran child is just one of many to cross the border in search of asylum in recent years. Many individuals and families have fled their homes in Central America due to political instability and violence.

As the photos below demonstrate, this pattern of migration is nothing new. What’s changed is how the Trump administration has decided to respond to it.

Last month, Trump administration officials announced a “zero-tolerance” policy in which they would begin prosecuting adult border-crossers for the misdemeanor crime of illegal entry while routing their children into the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Some of these kids have ended up in separate detention facilities far from their parents. 

Nearly 2,000 children have already been removed from their families as a result of the administration’s policy, and hundreds more are being pried away each week.

The photos below show families and children that have attempted to cross the U.S.-Mexico border since 2017. Several reportedly turned themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol, and their current status isn’t known.

As families like these continue to attempt to cross the border, often under desperate circumstances, they will face possible separation due to the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy.

 

(Loren Elliott / Reuters)

Undocumented immigrants who turned themselves in after crossing the border from Mexico into the U.S. await processing near McAllen, Texas, on April 2, 2018.

 

(Loren Elliott / Reuters)

Families who crossed the border near McAllen, Texas, on May 9, 2018.

 

(John Moore via Getty Images)

A U.S. Border Patrol spotlight shines on a mother and son from Honduras on June 12, 2018, in McAllen, Texas.

 

(John Moore via Getty Images)

Central Americans seeking asylum wait as U.S. Border Patrol agents take them into custody on June 12, 2018, near McAllen, Texas.

 

(John Moore via Getty Images)

A Honduran mother stands with her family at the U.S.-Mexico border fence on Feb. 22, 2018, near Penitas, Texas.

 

(John Moore via Getty Images)

U.S. Border Patrol agents take a Central American family into custody on June 12, 2018 near McAllen, Texas.

 

(John Moore via Getty Images)

U.S. Border Patrol agents take a father and son from Honduras into custody near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12, 2018, near Mission, Texas.

 

(John Moore via Getty Images)

A Central American family waits to be taken into custody on June 12, 2018, near McAllen, Texas.

 

(John Moore via Getty Images)

Central American migrants wait as U.S. Border Patrol agents take people into custody on June 12, 2018, near McAllen, Texas.

 

(John Moore via Getty Images)

Two women and a child who crossed the border on Feb. 22, 2018, near McAllen, Texas.

 

(John Moore via Getty Images)

A Honduran child who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border with her family on Jan. 4, 2017, near McAllen, Texas.

 

(John Moore via Getty Images)

U.S. Border Patrol agents take Central American immigrants, including this young child, into custody on Jan. 4, 2017, near McAllen, Texas.

 

(John Moore via Getty Images)

A Honduran woman and child on Jan. 4, 2017, near McAllen, Texas.

 

(John Moore via Getty Images)

A U.S. Border Patrol agent checks birth certificates while taking Central American immigrants into detention on Jan. 4, 2017, near McAllen, Texas.

 

(Loren Elliott / Reuters)

Adults and children await processing near McAllen, Texas, on April 2, 2018.

 

(Loren Elliott / Reuters)

Guatemalan immigrant families turn themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol near McAllen, Texas, on May 8, 2018.

 

(John Moore via Getty Images)

U.S. Border Patrol agents take Central American immigrants into custody on Jan. 4, 2017, near McAllen, Texas.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.