“What we’re missing is a conductor.”
ProPublica obtained audio of migrant children crying after being separated from their parents. At one point during the clip, a border patrol Agent can be heard joking about the situation.
The audio was recorded last week inside a US Customs and Border Protection detention facility and given to Jennifer Harbury, a civil rights attorney. The Central American children were in the detention center for less than 24 hours at the time of recording.
The children heard in the recording are estimated to be between the ages of four and 10.
The audio comes as public and media scrutiny intensifies over the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy, which has resulted in the separation of at least 2,000 migrant children from parents caught illegally attempting to cross the border.
Trump has defended the policy, saying that “the US will not be a migrant camp” and has repeatedly blamed Democrats for the situation.
In the audio a child can be heard crying about her father: “I don’t want them to stop my father. I don’t want them to deport him.”
Throughout the video, the children continuously cry out for their parents: “Papá! Papá! Papá! Mami!”
A border patrol agent jokes as the children cry: “Well, we have an orchestra here, right? What we’re missing is a conductor.”
One of the children repeatedly begs for her aunt to a consular worker: “My mommy says that I’ll go with my aunt and that she’ll come to pick me up there as quickly as possible.”