Advocate Details Horrors of Migrant Detainment Under ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policy

In an interview with Texas Monthly, Anne Chandler, executive producer for the nonprofit Children’s Border Project, provides vivid accounts of what migrant parents and their children go through when interacting with immigration officers from the Department of Homeland Security.

This is a picture of a woman.


This is a picture of a woman.

Anne Chandler, executive producer for the nonprofit organization Children’s Border Project, spoke with Texas Monthly to provide some heart-wrenching details regarding the separation of migrant parents from their children under the Trump administration’s new "zero tolerance" policy. Chandler recalls a disturbing recurring explanation given by agents for the Department of Homeland Security where they tell the parent(s) that they’re taking the child to "get bathed." After a long wait, the parent looks to retrieve their child only to be told that they won’t be seeing their kid again.

"In other cases, we see no communication that the parent knows that their child is to be taken away. Instead, the officers say, 'I’m going to take your child to get bathed.' That’s one we see again and again," she said. "'Your child needs to come with me for a bath.' The child goes off, and in a half an hour, twenty minutes, the parent inquires, 'Where is my five-year-old?' 'Where's my seven-year-old?' 'This is a long bath.' And they say, 'You won’t be seeing your child again.'"

A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security, as well as a representative for Customs and Border Patrol, have denied that an account has taken place. Of course. Chandler also shed some light on how the relocation process has led to parents being sent to one place, like California, while their child winds up in another state, such as New York. The matter of trying to reunite the kid with their parent is then left in the hands of the Health and Human Services that sometimes need first to figure out the location of both parties. Chandler calls the situation a "mess," and there's probably no better word to describe it. 

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