DISGUSTING JOKES: Agents caught out mocking crying kids
WARNING: Distressing content
HEARTBREAKING audio from inside a Border Patrol facility captures children crying for their mums and dads after they were separated from their parents - while an agent callously makes jokes.
Nearly 2000 children were taken from their parents over a six-week period in April and May after US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions announced a "zero tolerance" policy when it comes to prosecuting those arrested for illegally entering the country.
An old warehouse in South Texas hundreds of children are being held in cages created by metal fencing, with one cage holding 20 youngsters.
The heartbreaking audio released on Monday is from an undisclosed Border Patrol facility.
The children cry for their parents while Border Patrol agents mock them.
"Well, we have an orchestra here," the Border Patrol agent says in Spanish in the recording posted by Pro Publica on Monday.
"What's missing is a conductor."
Pro Publica did not disclose exactly what facility the audio comes from, but says it is of 10 Central American children aged between 4 and 10 years old and was recorded last week, about a day after the separation.
The kids wail "Mami" and "Papa," while one six-year-old Salvadoran girl named Alison Madrid begs for someone to call her aunt and recites the phone number, according to Pro Publica.
"My mummy says that I'll go with my aunt, and that she'll come to pick me up there as quickly as possible," she tells a consular official.
The outlet called the number and spoke with the aunt, who said they did speak but there is nothing she can do to help the little girl because she and her nine-year-old daughter are seeking asylum in the US and she's worried it would put their own case in jeopardy.
"It was the hardest moment in my life," she said. "Imagine getting a call from your six-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'."
Madrid is now in a shelter but hasn't been able to speak with her mother, who is in a Texas detention centre, and has been warned her mum might be deported without her, the aunt told Pro Publica.
VICTIMS OF TRUMP'S CRACKDOWN
"Cruel", "atrocious", "inhumane", "immoral", "shameful" and "heartbreaking". Donald Trump has been accused of many moral outrages during his tenure as President, but he may finally have gone a step too far for America.
A wave of anger towards the 71-year-old over his most controversial policy has swelled to an unprecedented size, with a desperate White House swinging into damage-control mode.
Mr Trump's close allies and family members, as well as the most senior members of the US political establishment, have come forward to condemn his actions.
The policy at the centre of this gathering political storm is that of "zero tolerance" to undocumented migrants entering the US, introduced in April. Adults are now immediately charged and jailed and their children taken away from them in traumatising circumstances.
A gut-wrenching image of a two-year-old Honduran girl sobbing at the border has gone viral, becoming a symbol of the nationwide horror at these destructive operations.
A defiant Mr Trump today insisted America could not become a "migrant camp" or "refugee holding facility", and that "a country without borders is not a country at all."
Speaking before a space policy event, he said the immigration chaos was "very strongly the Democrats' fault," adding that undocumented migrants were causing "death and destruction."