A Border Patrol Agent Reveals What It’s Really Like to Guard Migrant Children [propublica.org]

 

By Ginger Thompson, ProPublica, July 16, 2019.

The Border Patrol agent, a veteran with 13 years on the job, had been assigned to the agency’s detention center in McAllen, Texas, for close to a month when the team of court-appointed lawyers and doctors showed up one day at the end of June.

Taking in the squalor, the stench of unwashed bodies, and the poor health and vacant eyes of the hundreds of children held there, the group members appeared stunned.

Then, their outrage rolled through the facility like a thunderstorm. One lawyer emerged from a conference room clutching her cellphone to her ear, her voice trembling with urgency and frustration. “There’s a crisis down here,” the agent recalled her shouting.

At that moment, the agent, a father of a 2-year-old, realized that something in him had shifted during his weeks in the McAllen center. “I don’t know why she’s shouting,” he remembered thinking. “No one on the other end of the line cares. If they did, this wouldn’t be happening.”

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This story brings humanity into the picture - in a way I have not read elsewhere. 
"When asked whether he simply stopped caring, he said: “Exactly, to a point that’s kind of dangerous. But once you do, you feel better.”

“If what happened was a film, you’d see an older woman with many years of experience, her eyes lined from seeing these poor children, and a young man, with a young family, seeing this nightmare for the first time,” Frye said, recalling her encounter with the agent." 

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