Jun 18, 2018

Secret audio: Border Patrol agent jokes while migrant kids wail

U.S. Border Patrol agents arrive to detain a group of Central American asylum seekers near the U.S.-Mexico border. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

A secret audio recording, obtained by ProPublica, captures the desperate screams from several Central American migrant children who were separated from their parents last week, while a border patrol agent jokes that their cries sound like an "orchestra."

Why it matters: The children's repeated cries for their "Mami" and "Papa" add a vivid dimension to the hotly-contested policy debate that has created a sharp divide in Washington.

Some clips, in Spanish:

  • One child cries "I don't want them to stop my father, I don't want them to deport him," while others wail in the background.
  • A border agent jokes remarks through the screams: "Well, we have an orchestra here, right? ... What we're missing is a conductor."
  • A consular worker murmurs: "This is her identification number... Keep this number. Don't lose it, you hear? Good."
  • One child asks: "Are you going to call my aunt so she can come pick me up? And then, so my mom can come as soon as possible?"

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The people who grow, process and keep food stocked on shelves are doing heroic work in these conditions, often for bottom-barrel pay.

Why it matters: Millions of Americans don't have the luxury of working from home, and it's essential that food workers keep working so we can keep eating.

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Acting Navy secretary resigns over handling of virus-infected ship

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigned Tuesday after apologizing for comments he made about Capt. Brett Crozier, who was removed after a letter he wrote pleading with the Navy to address the coronavirus outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt was leaked to the press. The resignation was first reported by Politico.

Why it matters: The controversy over Crozier's removal was exacerbated after audio leaked of Modly's address to the crew, in which he said Crozier was either "too naive or too stupid to be a commanding officer of a ship like this." After initially backing Modly's decision, President Trump said at a briefing Monday that he would "get involved."