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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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Go deeper

Neera Tanden withdraws nomination for Office of Management and Budget director

Neera Tanden testifying before the Senate Budget Committee in Washington, D.C., in February 2021. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Neera Tanden withdrew her name from nomination to lead the Office of Management and Budget after several senators voiced opposition and concern about her qualifications and past combative tweets, President Biden announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: Tanden’s decision to pull her nomination marks Biden's first setback in filling out his Cabinet with a thin Democratic majority in the Senate.

What's ahead for the newest female CEOs

Jane Fraser (L) and Rosalind Brewer. Photos: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images; Rodrigo Capote/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

The number of women at the helm of America’s biggest companies pales in comparison to men, but is newly growing — and their tasks are huge.

What's going on: Jane Fraser took over at Citigroup this week, the first woman to ever lead a major U.S. bank. Rosalind Brewer will take the reins at Walgreens in the coming weeks (March 15) — a company that's been run by white men for more than a century.

3 hours ago - Health

Biden says U.S. will have enough vaccines for 300 million adults by end of May

President Biden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden on Tuesday said that ramped-up coronavirus vaccine production will provide enough doses for 300 million Americans by the end May.

Why it matters: That's two months sooner than Biden's previous promise of enough vaccines for all American adults by the end of July.