Mother Of Migrant Girl In Family Separation Audio Released From Detention Center

Officials at a south Texas detention center on Wednesday night released Cindy Madrid, the undocumented mother whose daughter Jimena’s cries for help in an audio recording showed the impact of the Trump administration’s family separation policy.

Alejandro Alamillo, who manages the law office of Madrid’s lawyer Thelma Garcia, confirmed to HuffPost Thursday that Madrid was released from a south Texas detention center around 6 p.m. Wednesday and that she stayed overnight at a nearby motel.

She will now head to Arizona, where Jimena is being held, according to ProPublica reporter Ginger Thompson, who obtained the initial audio recording published on June 18 and has since been documenting the mother and daughter’s journey.

Under the Trump adminstration’s zero tolerance policy on immigration, Border Patrol agents separated Cindy and Jimena, both migrants from El Salvador, at the border in Texas in June.

The widely played and circulated recording of Jimena after their separation gave new emotional resonance to the Trump administration’s highly criticized policy. The audio brought a voice to the detained children and shed light on their dire conditions. It was played on Capitol Hill and in the White House press briefing room and featured in campaign ads from progressive organizations targeting Republican lawmakers.

“My mommy says that I’ll go with my aunt, and that she will come to pick me up there as quickly as possible so I can go with her,” Jimena says in the recording, repeatedly begging officials to call her aunt, whose phone number she had memorized and recited in the audio.

In the recording, a Border Patrol agent can be heard joking about the children’s crying.

“Well, we have an orchestra here,” he says in the recording. “What’s missing is a conductor.”

A consular officer eventually called the number that Jimena recited, which enabled her aunt, Madrid’s sister, who lives in Houston, to identify her. The aunt then relayed messages between Madrid and her daughter. Last week, Thompson reported that Jimena and Madrid have spoken via phone.

Amid weeks of protests and condemnation, Trump administration officials resorted to misleading arguments and false talking points in an attempt to justify the family separation policy. Trump later reversed it, but officials will continue to detain families “indefinitely.”

A federal judge ordered government officials to reunite all of the children with their parents by July 26. The government was supposed to reunite all children under the age of 5 by Tuesday, but as of Thursday morning, 46 children under the age of 5 had still not been reunited with their parents, according to Trump administration officials.

  • Children Separated From Parents At The Border Heard In Heartbreaking New Audio

  • 57 Immigrant Kids Under 5 Have Been Reunited With Parents, Government Says

  • Judge Blocks Trump From Separating Families At The Border

  • Trump's Plan To Stop Family Separations Is To Detain Families Together

  • Trump And His Allies Are Lying Through Their Teeth About Family Separations

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