“Women to One Side, Men to the Other”: How the Border Patrol’s New Powers and Old Carelessness Separated a Family — ProPublica


Mirza had a sense of foreboding soon after she crossed into the U.S. with her two children and their father, David. A Border Patrol agent ordered the family from Honduras and the rest of their group to divide into two lines: “Women to one side, men to the other.”

Mirza held 19-month-old Lia and joined the women’s line. David took their 6-year-old son Sebastian and lined up with the men. An agent told them not to worry, everyone was going to the same place. A bus took them in two trips to a collection of tents and trailers where they would be processed.

They arrived a few hours apart, held separately in a large waiting area. Mirza grew more anxious as she spotted David and Sebastian across the room. She motioned for Sebastian to bring her a bottle of water. “Papi says to take care of yourself,” he told her.

The family did not come together again. And within days, an international border stood between them.


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