In Audio, Border Agent Jokes About Screaming of Separated Kids

McCain calls policy an 'affront to the decency of the American people'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2018 4:51 AM CDT

(Newser) – A harrowing recording from inside a border facility has added fuel to the controversy over the immigration policies that have separated thousands of children from their families. In the recording, which ProPublica says was made last week and provided to civil rights attorney Jennifer Harbury by a whistleblower, wailing children call "Mami" and "Papi" over and over again. They're mocked by a Border Patrol agent. "Well, we have an orchestra here," he says, in Spanish. "What's missing is a conductor." Harbury says the person who made the recording "heard the children's weeping and crying and was devastated by it." She says the children are believed to be between 4 and 10 years old. In other developments:

  • GOP backlash. Much of the condemnation of the "zero tolerance" policy responsible for the separations came from within the GOP, which fears the issue will cost it dearly in the midterms, the Washington Post reports. "It's time for this ugly and inhumane practice to end. Now," said Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan, adding: "It's never acceptable to use kids as bargaining chips in political process." Sen. John McCain tweeted that the policy is an "affront to the decency of the American people, and contrary to principles and values upon which our nation was founded."

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