WASHINGTON (Circa) -- Audio of 10 Central American children being separated from their parents has just been obtained by publication ProPublica. The audio features children repeatedly screaming "Mami" and "Papa" at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility.
This release comes as the Trump administration's separation policy kicks into gear nationwide. The publication reports more than 2,300 children have been separated from their parents since April after the administration announced a "zero tolerance" policy. Out of the thousands who are taken away from their parents, over 100 of the kids are under the age of four.
At one point in the video, a border patrol agent jokes that the children were providing an orchestra for them.
"Well, we have an orchestra here, right?" the agent said. "What's missing is a conductor."
ProPublica obtained the audio from Jennifer Harbury, a civil rights attorney, who was given the audio by someone who does not want to be identified. The leaker is afraid of retaliation but was convinced to send it out because they “heard the children’s weeping and crying, and was devastated by it.”
It is estimated that the children heard in this 7-minute clip are between the ages of four and ten years old. They were also reportedly in the center for less than 24 hours.
A six year old girl in the video memorized the telephone number of her aunt in the United States. She cried and pleaded with authorities to let her get in touch with her relative but was denied.
"My mommy says I'll go with my aunt, and that she'll come to pick me up there as quickly as possible, so I can go with her," the young girl says.
“It was the hardest moment in my life,” the girl's aunt told ProPublica. “Imagine getting a call from your 6-year-old niece. She’s crying and begging me to go get her. She says, ‘I promise I’ll behave, but please get me out of here. I’m all alone.’”
Her aunt is also seeking asylum in the United States from El Salvador - where she says "there's nowhere for normal people to feel safe" because gangs are on buses, in banks, in schools and even in the police force. She believes that if she tries to intervene in her niece's situation, it could affect her and her daughter's own situation.