- A recording obtained by Vice News features a seven-year-old boy crying down the phone to his mother.
- He was calling his mum back in Guatemala after being taken from his father at the US border when the two crossed in May.
- The mother asks her, who cries throughout, whether he has a place to play, and tells him to stay strong.
- More than 2,000 children have been separated from their parents under the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
- A judge signed an order on Tuesday saying that the government must reunite families within 30 days.
A new recording shows a seven-year-old boy crying down the phone to his mother after being separated from his family at the US border.
The boy and his mother spoke on Tuesday, where she tried to reassure her son that he would see his family soon. They have been apart for almost a month, according to Vice News Tonight on HBO, which obtained the audio.
In the exchange, translated from Spanish, she says: “Don’t cry, my love. Be happy. You’ll get out of there soon.
“Your dad is going to call you. Do you want to talk to him? Remember that God exists, honey. Kneel and pray to God. Ask him to help you get out of there.”
New: We obtained a recording of a phone call between a scared 7-year old being held in an ORR shelter and his mother in Guatemala. He crossed the border with his father almost a month ago and still hasn't spoken to him.
“We are going to see you again,” she tells him. pic.twitter.com/sZFLbaatlH
— VICE News (@vicenews) June 27, 2018
The boy crossed the US-Mexico border with his father in May, when the two were separated, Vice said.
The boy was placed in an Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) shelter in Arizona and his father was detained in a detention facility in Texas. The boy reportedly hasn’t been able to talk to his father.
The mother, speaking to her son for the second time since he was placed in the shelter, asks from Guatemala: “Do you have a place to play?”
“Don’t be sad,” she tells her crying child. “It will be no time until your dad gets there and you can be with him again.”
“Don’t be afraid. You’ll get out of there. Nobody is going to take you to a different place. So, don’t be afraid. Nothing is going to happen to you there. So honey … take care of yourself and don’t cry, baby.”
The mother told her son she did not know that the US government intended to separate him from his father.
She said: “God will help you. We didn’t know that things were like this. If we had known, I wouldn’t have let you go with your dad. But we thought everything was OK there. Look, the government did that.”
Under the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy, over 2,000 migrant children were taken from their parents between April 19 and May 31, according to official figures. The policy continued beyond that point, though it was unclear how many children were separated from their parents.
Following public outcry, Trump signed an executive order last week to end the separation of migrant children from their families.
But charities and legal groups say that many parents that have already been detained have been unable to contact their children by phone or learn where they are being held.
A federal judge ordered on Tuesday that the government must provide phone contact between parents and their children within 10 days and reunited with their parents within 30 days.
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