McAllen, Texas (CNN)The undocumented immigrant from Honduras sobbed as she told an attorney Tuesday how federal authorities took her daughter while she breastfed the child in a detention center, where she was awaiting prosecution for entering the country illegally.
Since the policy was announced in May, some 500 children have been separated from their parents within the last month, according to Miguel A. Nogueras, an assistant federal public defender for the Southern District of Texas in McAllen, citing an unofficial count by an attorney in his office.
Some parents who are under arrest tell public defenders they don’t know what happened to their children, Nogueras said. Some parents also claim they have been told their children are being taken to be bathed or cleaned up, then the adults don’t see them again.
“The government is essentially torturing people by doing this,” Cornelio said.
In an interview outside the federal courthouse in McAllen, Nogueras said: “It depends on who the agent is on that day. They’ll be told, ‘We’re going to separate your kids so they can bathe.’ And that’s not true.”
He added: “It’s really hard to look in the eye of a mother or father who would plead for you — help me get my child back.”
‘My daughter is here’
Inside the crowded federal courtroom, another undocumented Honduran immigrant stood in shackles Tuesday pleading with a judge preparing to sentence him for illegally entering the United States.
Authorities had separated Oman Rodriguez-Avila from his 8-year-old daughter when they caught him and other immigrants crossing the border a day earlier.
“I would ask that you give me a short sentence because my daughter is here,” he told a judge in Spanish, speaking through a translator.
The federal judge sentenced Rodriguez-Avila to 15 days in jail because Rodriguez-Avila was previously convicted for the same misdemeanor offense in 2012 and deported.
In a statement released Wednesday, Carlos Diaz, a US Customs and Border Protection spokesman, disputed the claims against immigration officials.
“Nothing could be further from the truth and these allegations are unsubstantiated,” he said in an email.
In Texas, Cornelio recalled how quickly the tears flowed when the Civil Rights Project interviewed immigrants, whose children had been taken from them, after their arrest for illegally entering the country.
“All the women would start crying and would need to take a couple of minutes before being able to continue talking about it,” Cornelio said.
This week, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department’s Southern District of Texas said her office could not comment on the number of parents who had been separated from their children or how families were separated because of the zero-tolerance policy.
‘It should never happen’
Children generally are separated from parents who are awaiting prosecution for crossing illegally, so prosecuting more parents will result in the separation of far more children from their parents at the border than before the policy took effect.
Those children become the charges of the Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families (specifically, the Office of Refugee Resettlement).
In an interview with NPR last month, when asked what he would say to people who say it would be “cruel and heartless” to separate a mother from her children, White House chief of staff John Kelly said: “I wouldn’t put it quite that way. The children will be taken care of — put into foster care or whatever. But the big point is they elected to come illegally into the United States, and this is a technique that no one hopes will be used extensively or for very long.”
The administration said it seeks to reunite the families as much as possible after court proceedings, but it puts the onus largely on the parents to locate their children within government custody and seek their return.
“So, if you cross the border unlawfully, even a first offense, we’re going to prosecute you,” Sessions told a gathering of the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies. “If you’re smuggling a child, we’re going to prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you, probably, as required by law. If you don’t want your child to be separated, then don’t bring them across the border illegally.”
The new policy does not apply to asylum seekers who enter the United States through an official port of entry without paperwork; those people would only be placed into immigration proceedings.
It has long been a misdemeanor federal offense to be caught illegally entering the country, punishable by up to six months in prison and a $5,000 fine. But previous US administrations generally didn’t refer everyone caught for prosecution. Those who were apprehended were put into immigration proceedings and faced deportation from the country, unless they qualified to pursue an asylum claim.
Nogueras said he has seen a shift in the caseload. During the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, public defenders in the federal courthouse in McAllen handled about 20 to 30 cases a day involving defendants facing charges for minor crimes, he said.
On Monday, public defenders handled 170 cases of undocumented immigrants who were charged with illegally entering the country and about 120 on Tuesday. At least 60 children have been separated from their parents over the past two days, according to the federal public defenders in McAllen.
“I’m outraged about it. I’m angry. It should never happen,” Nogueras said. “I don’t think that this represents the values of the American people.”
PLR Monthly - Unlimited Membership Special *OTO Discount*PLR Monthly - Unlimited Membership Special
Unlimited Membership access to our Top Quality PLR Membership website where we provide FRESH PLR content every single month! Single One Time Only payment for Unlimited Membership Access!
Smart Funnelz Gold LITECreate Unique Funnels That Guarantee To Sky Rocket Your Opt-In Rate And Generate Leads, Sales and Commissions on Demand!
List Janitor AGENCYThe List Janitor Pro Version will give you the capability to maintain other’s email lists. Email cleaning and management service providers charge large sums for these services.Charge a monthly fee or a one time cost and provide the same set of services
SpeakEz Agency and Reseller (250 Licenses)Engage more users by adding voice to your web pages. Allow visitors to seamlessly transition from reading your content, into enjoying a captivating narrated audio version they can have read to them at their leisure.
Unleash The Fortune WithinUnleash The Fortune Within is an E-book that helps you gain the clarity and practical guidance you need to live your dream life,
manifest your desires and unleash your inner fortune.
Social Media MogulSocial Media Mogul is a huge collection of resources to take your social marketing to the next level. You're getting custom RSS software preloaded with tons of feeds ready to share, a large assortment of ready-to-use quotes, a great collection of backgrou
Omega Wealth Club - [Diamond Package]The Omega Wealth Coaching Program - The EXCLUSIVE Coaching and Mentoring Program For Those Who Are Ready To Go From Zero To High 5-figure Income per month within a few months.
Video Chief UK PersonalProfit $500 - $1,000 Per Video By Leveraging One of The Largest Library of Pre-Made Videos, Script Templates, VoiceOver Templates And More…Instantly Access Over 600 High-Converting Templates Spread Across More Than A Dozen Of The Hottest Niches!
VidRepurposer CommercialThe first ever cloud-based tool that allows repurposes videos, text, and audio into a month's worth of fully unique, high-quality video content for your own brand and for clients.
Splash Video ElementsIntroducing Splash Video Elements -- a beautifully crafted video kit based on watercolor and animated ink elements. Splash Video Elements contains templates and assets compatible with Easy Video Lab (formerly known as Kinetic Text Animator, Easy Video Lab
LiteApp Studio - Reseller [50 Licenses]Get Rights To Resell 50 Licenses Of LiteApp Studio and keep 100% of thee profits [Costs you only $2.54 per license for the 50 pack and you sell each for $97. Make over $9500 in profits reselling your licenses!]
Social CPA Academy OTO2 - Case StudyThis is a comprehensive FB and CPA course will covering, crafting high converting ads, building landing pages, finding the right CPA offers for your funnel, how to get 100k plus leads (We've built up a 100k plus email list on fb as well. The system we use
1A Video MatrixSimply the very best Automated Live Stream Video Social Media Posting Software And Marketers Tools
Livecaster Elite YearlyLivecaster is a very easy and simple to use the software. Add any pre-recorded video to Livecaster repository and you can go live on Facebook and YouTube by just clicking one button.
You can schedule any video to go live at any time using the smart schedu
Online Sales Pro One-Time PaymentGrow Your Sales with Online Sales Pro. The lead generation, marketing automation, and direct sales software tool that has helped over 45,000 customers grow their leads, sales, and cash flow.
Easy Video Templates: Cartoon KitEasy Video Templates Cartoon Kit is a template pack and customization kit for Easy Video Lab (sold separately and formerly known as Kinetic Text Animator) or Easy Video Lab Lite (included for free). The Cartoon Kit comes with 25 highly and easily customiz
ReachInfluencer DeluxeIt is a cloud based software that lets you seal sponsored post contract deals with top influencers by reaching out to multiple influencers in ANY niche on Instagram and Twitter with an automated messaging system in just few clicks.
Channel Authority Builder 2 AGENCY YearlyChannel Authority Builder Agency is a tool that lets you make big profits without creating a single channel on YouTube. With this, you can hijack the credibility of top YouTube channels in any niche and also monitor yours as well as your competitors ranki
SiteSync ProSITESYNC Is The Only Tool That Will Backup, Download and Restore Your Websites 24/7 On Autopilot
dummy 1 OTO 5Get 207% more messenger subscribers, increase engagement and make more sales.
ATL - DIAMOND Upgrade - LITEThe Affiliate Traffic Lab is a 100% cloud based software that creates traffic getting videos that you can rank on Google and Youtube in minutes to get you free traffic, leads and sales.
Livematic [Monthly]LIVEMATIC is an all-in-one cloud based software that helps you engage your audience with LIVE VIDEOS Simultaneously on Unlimited Profiles; Unlimited Groups And Unlimited Pages. You can also use your pre-recorded videos as Live Broadcasts on ALL Your FB Pa
XFUNNELS Reseller BasicI Will Tell You How You Can?MAKE $5000- $10,000 Using XFunnels?In The Next 7 Days Even Without Using It..Re-Sell XFunnels Accounts As Our Official RESELLER/DEVELOPER License Holder
SocialLeadsThe Next Generation SAAS Platform For Lead Capture.
Commissions ReloadedInside Commissions Reloaded I'm going to go even deeper on Twitter and show you some advanced strategies you can use to scale up your customer acquisition to the next level.
1 Share In The MTC CoopStart Getting Easy Traffic To Your Online Offers On 100% Autopilot In As Little As 3 Minutes, Guaranteed!
Sells Like Hot Cakes Basic MembershipTURNKEY AMAZON + SHOPIFY SYSTEM: The Ultimate Step-By-Step Crash Course to get you from ZERO to $47,812 per month: All the TOOLS you need + A Team of Professionals ready to Guide You All the way to SUCCESS
Confident Power Rock Premium EasyTrackConfident Power Rock is a ultra-high energy EasyTrack with a powerful metal rock style that expresses and creates a confident and motivational mood. This EasyTrack can be used with Easy Audio Lab (included at no additional cost) to create a variation of t
LeadPrimo ScaleWorld’s ONLY All-In-One Email Marketing Platform That Creates Beautiful Lead Pages and Send UNLIMITED Emails Directly into Inbox to Get You More Clicks and Open Rates Without Paying Any Monthly Fees FOREVER.
SEO XBusiness - CommercialSEO XBusiness - Commercial : The only tool you need to launch a fully fledged SEO Business with no experience at all!
LIVEreel - SyVID AgencySyVID Agency lets you share and syndicate your videos to multiple video and social sharing sites. This is agency version with pro features.
NewsBuilder - ProRevolutionary New Self-Updating News Website Builder Using Automated Posting Technology And Integrated With Our Award Winning Traffic Software
AffiliStores PLATINUM ProCreate Highly Profitable Affiliate Stores In Minutes! Crush It With Amazon, AliExpress, eBay and Many Other Affiliate Marketplaces!
Commission Bullseye MultiCommission Bullseye is a Wordpress plugin that lets you place geo targeted content on your blog. Display Amazon ads for multiple countries, show certain content or ads to targeted locations and more.