The Atlantic

Kids Describe the Fear of Separation at the Border

Children who experienced the “icebox” say they didn’t know if they would see their parents again.
Source: Jeremy Raff / The Atlantic

MCALLEN, Texas—At a shelter for migrants just released from detention, 9-year-old Paulina sits in front of a volunteer reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar aloud in Spanglish: “On Friday, he ate through five naranjas.” Paulina sat quietly with her books most of the afternoon.

Paulina is one of for lack of detention space, instead releasing them with GPS ankle trackers and a court date. After release, Border Patrol sends some of them via bus to the Catholic Charities Respite Center, where they can get a hot meal, new clothes, diapers, and even new shoelaces, which authorities confiscate during incarceration as a precaution against suicide. Then, the immigrants board Greyhound busses for points north while they wait to see an immigration judge. Most will plead for asylum protection to stay in the country, a process Trump has derided as a “” that his administration has sought to curtail .

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