Agents with the U.S. Border Patrol are apparently losing track of undocumented children being separated from their parents at the border and assigning them to different mothers.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) gave a first-hand account of how undocumented mothers are treated in federal custody.
In one particularly harrowing detail of Rep. Jayapal’s report, she said that some moms were told their children were being taken to get a bath, but realized after several hours had passed that they weren’t going to see their kids again. Other moms described being taken into a courtroom to be processed in mass trials, and then returning to their cell to find that their children were gone.
“They were sitting in a room next to a room where their child was being held in some cases, and they could hear the children screaming for their parents,” Rep. Jayapal said. “It was absolutely heartbreaking. And their treatment in the ICE and Border Patrol facilities was just outrageous. I have worked on immigration issues for 20 years and this is just about as bad as I’ve seen it.”
“In many cases they were not given water to drink for five days,” she added, saying that the onlywater they had access to was dirty and chlorinated.
Rep. Jayapal also described how at least one mother was reportedly given a slip of paper with her name on it and the names of children assigned to her who were not hers, suggesting that Border Patrol agents were routinely losing track of children they were forcibly separating from parents.
Children separated from parents may soon be moved to tent cities on military bases in Texas, if a proposal from the Trump administration is made into actual immigration policy. The Miami Herald reported that possible sites of tent cities would include Fort Bliss in El Paso, and the Goodfellow and Dyess Air Force Bases.
Watch Rep. Jayapal’s interview below:
I hope everyone will watch and share this @MSNBC interview. I promised I would tell the stories of these courageous women who have been horrifically mistreated by our government. They are still behind bars and I told them we would fight tirelessly for their release. pic.twitter.com/dDAOMErkmB
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) June 13, 2018
Michael Boone is a freelance journalist and columnist writing about politics, government, race, and media. He graduated from Texas Southern University’s School of Communication, and lives in Houston’s Third Ward.