The desperate sobbing of 10 Central American children, separated from their parents one day last week by immigration authorities at the border, makes for excruciating listening. Many of them sound like they’re crying so hard, they can barely breathe. They scream “Mami” and “Papá” over and over again, as if those are the only words they know.
The baritone voice of a Border Patrol agent booms above the crying. “Well, we have an orchestra here,” he jokes. “What’s missing is a conductor.”
Then a distraught but determined 6-year-old Salvadoran girl pleads repeatedly for someone to call her aunt. Just one call, she begs anyone who will listen. She says she’s memorized the phone number, and at one point, rattles it off to a consular representative. “My mommy says that I’ll go with my aunt,” she whimpers, “and that she’ll come to pick me up there as quickly as possible.”
In recent days, authorities on the border have begun allowing tightly controlled tours of the facilities that are meant to put a humane face on the policy. But cameras are heavily restricted. And the children being held are not allowed to speak to journalists.
The audio obtained by ProPublica breaks that silence. It was recorded last week inside a U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility. The person who made the recording asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation. That person gave the audio to Jennifer Harbury, a well-known civil rights attorney who has lived and worked for four decades in the Rio Grande Valley along the Texas border with Mexico. Harbury provided it to ProPublica. She said the person who recorded it was a client who “heard the children’s weeping and crying, and was devastated by it.”
The person estimated that the children on the recording are between 4 and 10 years old. It appeared that they had been at the detention center for less than 24 hours, so their distress at having been separated from their parents was still raw. Consulate officials tried to comfort them with snacks and toys. But the children were inconsolable.
Maybe parents should consider their children before crossing the border illegally. When people get arrested, they don’t get to take the kids with them…
Praying for you.
Those parents ARE considering their children. They are trying to make a better life for their children.
My dad robbed a bank a couple decades ago. Killed a guard too. But he was doing it to make a better life for his children so it’s all good…
Just like Joseph and Mary were considering their child.
Joseph and Mary went to Egypt because of a dearth of carpentry jobs in Israel? The things you learn here…
Do your research …
Do you mean like working with the hundreds of immigrants I work with every day? Hearing their first hand accounts, seeing the bruises and scars? That sort of research?
God bless you. ️
Good plan. Punish the children to teach the parents a lesson. And by all means do it even when families could be kept together before being deported together.
Children do suffer when their parents break the law. There’s nothing to be done about that. The problem with keeping parents and kids together while their asylum requests are adjudicated is that there’s a federal court decision that says you can’t detain kids in immigration cases for more than 20 days. Asylum determinations take longer than that.
You’re right. Laws can’t be changed. Ever. Makes sense.
Asylum determinations take longer than that because the immigration court system is woefully underfunded and understaffed. But that aside, it is wrong pretend that the Trump administration is powerless to do anything different. They chose to detain asylum seekers rather than releasing them until their hearing, just to keep them from failing to appear for their hearing. That was their choice as to what was more important. Apparently keeping immigrants in custody is more important than abusing children, as they are now doing.
These sniveling little brats need to get themselves under control …SARCASM
Maybe the parents should be released from jail, and bring their kids back with them to Mexico
This is certainly a normal reaction to suffering children.
Ah, you forget that their parents led them here. I’ve outlined several solutions; however, they’re too concrete and decisive. People prefer virtue signaling and blind emotional arguments.