Outrage is continuing to mount over the Trump administration’s practice of forcibly taking children away from their parents, which the American Academy of Pediatrics calls “government-sanctioned child abuse.” The Pulitzer Prize-winning news outlet ProPublica released audio from inside a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility, in which children estimated to be between the ages of 4 and 10 years old are heard crying “Mama” and “Papi” after being separated from their parents. A warning: the audio is disturbing.
In another part of the audio, a Border Patrol agent is heard joking, in Spanish, “Well, we have an orchestra here. What’s missing is a conductor.” Only minutes after this audio was released, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen began a White House press briefing, during which she repeatedly lied by claiming only congressional action could stop the practice of separating children and parents. During the briefing, a reporter from New York magazine played the audio of the children weeping out loud, leading one reporter to ask Kirstjen, “How is this not child abuse?”