Heart-wrenching audio of two separated migrant mothers pleading to be reunited with their young sons during immigration court hearings in Texas has been released

By Tierney McAfee
July 24, 2018 09:00 PM

Heart-wrenching audio of two separated migrant mothers pleading to be reunited with their young sons during immigration court hearings in Texas has been released.

In the recordings obtained by CNN, one mother of a 7-year-old son can be heard tearfully pleading with an immigration judge in Spanish at thePort Isabel Detention Center in Los Fresnos, “I am begging, Your Honor. Please do not remove me from the country. Do it for me or for my son.

“I have nothing else. I have no one else. I am a single mother,” she continues in Spanish, according to a translator.

In both cases, the judge asked the mothers if they had evidence to back up their asylum claims and then ultimately ordered the women deported from the country, deeming them ineligible to stay in the United States.

Both women were told to speak with their deportation officer about being reunited with their children, CNN reports. (Both women gave CNN permission to share the audio but were not identified by CNN for their protection, the outlet said.)

Central American asylum seekers, including a Honduran girl, 2, and her mother, are taken into custody near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12, 2018 in McAllen, Texas
John Moore/Getty Images

More than 2,300 migrant children have been separated from their parents at the border since May as a result of President Donald Trump‘s since-reversed “zero tolerance” immigration policy. Now, as the Trump administration faces a Thursday deadline to reunite migrant children separated from their families, more than 2,000 kids still awaiting reunification. And for many of them, the chances are getting worse.

The Trump administration acknowledged in a court filing Monday that more than 460 migrant parents may have been deported without their children — making reunification unlikely, The New York Times reported.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the federal government put forward the joint court filing explaining that 463 parents of migrant children are no longer present in the United States — though their children remain behind in U.S. government shelters.

Some advocates say the separated parents are being denied asylum in record numbers, in part because they are so distressed about being separated from their children, CNN reports.

The two short hearings from the CNN recordings took place in July before Judge Robert Powell. In the second hearing, the mother tells the judge she feels too ill to continue.

“Well I’ll tell you what, ma’am, what I can do, I’ll put you on the back side of the calendar today, give you time to compose yourself,” Judge Powell tells her. “If you think you need to go to the medical unit, you can go to the medical unit. What do you want to do?”

“What I want is to be with my son,” the woman replies.

“I understand that, ma’am. Is there anything you want to say regarding your case?” the judge asks.

“I cannot continue with this anymore. What I want is to be with my son,” she replies.

Eventually, the woman’s attorney asked the judge to grant her a new interview “due to mental instability” she was suffering due to be sperated from her child, but the judge declined.

In the first hearing, the woman said she and her 7-year-old son received death threats from her brother, who is affiliated with a gang. She also told the judge she did not fully understand her first asylum interview, in part because she was so upset about being separated from her son.

“Your honor, I want to say also that when I had the interview, some questions I did understand and others I did not. At that time I was feeling very desperate because I was separated from my son. My son remained back at the icebox, he was on the floor, and I didn’t know anything about my son at that time,” she said.

CNN confirms that neither woman has been deported yet. The Department of Justice has not responded to CNN’s request for comment on the recordings.