Since the Trump administration launched the “zero tolerance” immigration policy in April, more than 2,300 children have been separated from their parents. The country is in outrage, demanding that this cruel and inhumane practice come to a swift end. In this political battle, it’s easy to forget about the victims suffering most: the children. Now, in an audio recording you can hear what Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy really sounds like.
Authorities have tightened control at the holding facilities. And in many cases, the children aren’t allowed to talk with the visiting journalists.
However, this audio recording was obtained last week by ProPublica, a journalism site. It’s not for the faint of heart. In it, you can hear 10 Central American children, aging from 4 to 10 – one from Guatemala, another from Honduras, but all of them desperately crying for their parents.
“Mami” and “Papá” are the words we hear over and over again. It’s as though these children are unable to utter any other words.
One child, in particular, seems to save his breath in between sobs just so he can cry, “Papá.” Considering that Father’s Day celebrations have just ended, it’s a somber sound to hear.
Above the crying and wailing, we hear a Border Patrol agent joking, “Well, we have an orchestra here. What’s missing is a conductor.”
Perhaps the most heartbreaking of all is the voice of a 6-year old girl from Salvador, who begs and pleads with the Border Patrol agent and consular agent to let her call her aunt. She tells them both, “My mommy says that I’ll go with my aunt and that she’ll come to pick me up there as quickly as possible.”