An artist has been fired from a Canadian publishing company after his drawing of President Donald Trump standing over the bodies of two drowned migrants went viral on social media.

The cartoon, which was posted by Canadian artist Michael de Adder, depicts Trump looking down at the bodies of a father Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, 25, and his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria, who drowned in the Rio Grande while trying to cross from Mexico into Texas, NBC reports.

Trump is also standing beside a golf cart and holding a golf club, with caption next him asking, "Do you mind if I play through?"

The cartoon is based on an alarming photo that went viral last week, which has sparked a debate over asylum-seekers.

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De Adder announced his termination from the newspapers owned by Brunswick News Inc. on Twitter.

"The highs and lows of cartooning," he wrote. "Today I was just let go from all newspapers in New Brunswick."

However, Brunswick News revealed in a statement on Sunday it was "entirely incorrect" to suggest the company cancelled its freelance contract with de Adder over the cartoon.

"This is a false narrative which has emerged carelessly and recklessly on social media," the company said. "In fact, BNI was not even offered this cartoon by Mr de Adder. The decision to bring back reader favourite Greg Perry was made long before this cartoon, and negotiations had been ongoing for weeks."

De Adder said he was "not a victim" and that this was "a setback not a deathblow".

The New Brunswick publisher also said that he was still drawing cartoons for other publications, but de Adder said he was hurt that he would no longer be doing so in his four local outlets.

"I just need to recoup a percentage of my weekly income and get used to the idea I no longer have a voice in my home province," he wrote.

De Adder, who did not immediately return NBC News' request for comment, tweeted on Sunday that he would be "off the grid for the day".

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Wes Tyrell, president of the Association of Canadian Cartoonists, claimed de Adder was fired after 17 years with Brunswick News because Donald Trump was a "taboo subject" for the company.

Michael de Adder. Photo / via Twitter
Michael de Adder. Photo / via Twitter

"Although he has stated there was no reason given for his firing, the timing was no coincidence," Tyrell said in a lengthy statement on Facebook. "Michael de Adder has drawn many well-documented cartoons on Trump, they have however, systematically never been seen in the NB papers."

Tyrell also explained that previous Trump cartoons by de Adder probably went unnoticed by the company, but since this one went viral it led to him being fired.

Tyrell says that, although Brunswick News is a Canadian company, its business ties within the United States influenced their decision.

"Trade has been an issue since Trump took office," Tyrell said. "And the President himself is an unknown quantity who punishes those who appear to oppose him."