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An immigrant mother walking with her child. Photo: Loren Elliott/AFP via Getty Images

Grassroots Leadership, a non-profit civil rights organization, has published letters from immigrant mothers detained and separated from their children at the United States-Mexico border.

Why it matters: The letters offer a glimpse of their grim living conditions, as well as the mothers' anguish after being separated from their children.

We beg you to help us, return our children.
— An anonymous, detained immigrant woman, per the LA Times

The backdrop: Several immigrants have been detained and separated from their families as a result of President Trump's "zero-tolerance" policy. The administration initially defended it, but then Trump attempted to end it with an executive order.

What they're saying:
  • A woman, who was separated from her son a month prior to writing the letter: "There are moments when I can't go on ... If they are going to deport me, let them do it — but with my child."
  • In another letter, a detainee who said she was seeking asylum, questioned the morality of the "zero-tolerance" policy. She said she ran from her country because "they threatened to kill me and my children," but now she has found herself in the U.S. where "they killed us alive" by taking their children.
  • One woman says she has not been able to bathe or brush her teeth for eight days after being captured, per CNN. The woman, who said she had not seen her children for 21 days and did not know where they were, described her detainment facility as "la perrera," which means kennel or dog pound. She said they were surrounded by chain link fences.
"They treated us so horribly, as though we were animals," the woman wrote.

Go deeper: Read all 20 letters released by Grassroots Leadership here.

Go deeper

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.