An ongoing humanitarian crisis is unfolding at the border. Following many years of mistreatment of undocumented immigrants at the border, the Trump Administration recently enacted a “zero-tolerance” policy that separates children from their parents. So far, the government has ripped about 2,000 children from their moms and dads. While the news has sparked outrage across the country, new audio is highlighting the gravity of the situation.
In audio that ProPublica obtained, 10 Central American children separated from their parents, and now at a US Customs and Border Protection facility, cry as a man – identified as a Border Patrol agent – cracks jokes. “Well, we have an orchestra here,” he says as the children wail. “What’s missing is a conductor.”
Through tears, a 6-year-old Salvadoran girl asks if she can connect with her aunt. She explains repeatedly that she needs to call her tía, whose number she committed to memory.
The audio is heartbreaking and hard to get through because the children are clearly distraught. But at a time when the Trump Administration shows no empathy for the fate of these kids – many of which are escaping gang violence back home – this audio is a sharp reminder that this harmful policy will have long-lasting effects.
Listen to it below.