A Separated Mother’s Message to Her Daughter

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At the peak of the Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy, nearly 3,000 children were separated from their parents at the border. While most of them have now been reunited, more than 500 children have not because they were ruled ineligible.

The government has argued in court that these separations remain because, in some cases, the parents have committed crimes that disqualify them from reunification. However, the ACLU has found at least 30 cases in which parents may have committed only minor crimes yet are still separated from their kids.

KQED independently learned of two women being held in California on immigration holds, separate from their children. Both of them have committed minor crimes.

One of those mothers — who we are calling “M” — recorded this message to her daughter a few days before her fourth birthday. Because of concerns from M's lawyer over disclosing her identity and to protect her from threats of violence, we've put together this animation from KQED cartoonist Mark Fiore based on an audio and video recording we took during our meeting with M.