"Don't you know we hate you people?"


She remembers the Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer entering the room -- where she had already been detained for 24 hours -- to tell her she would never see her 7-year-old ​daughter again.

​"I cannot express the pain and fear I felt at that point," she said in a ​testimony.


Before leaving, the ICE agent turned to her asked if they celebrate Mother's Day in Guatemala. She said yes.

​"Then happy Mother's Day," said the agent.

​It was May 10, a month after Jeff Sessions announced a ​"zero tolerance" towards illegal immigration coming through the US-Mexican border. A policy that resulted in the tearing apart of thousands of migrant families, many of whom seeking asylum.

​Thirty-one-year-old Rebeca Gonzalez-Garcia told the above story as a testimony for Washington State's lawsuit against President Donald Trump attempting to upend the administration's hardline immigration policy. Despite an executive order ​outlawing the separation of families, the government has admitted to have fallen short of reuniting already-separated families


​On Tuesday, The Rolling Stones ​published excepts from this and other testimonies detailing the harrowing experience of parents separated from their children, and their cold mistreatment at the hands of ICE officers.

"We hate your people": ​Gladys Monroy-Guerra de Tesucum fled Guatamela to escape an abusive cousin who threatened to murder her and her children. When she was caught, ICE agents taunted her.

“When I first spoke with ICE officers," she said, "they told us, ‘Why did you come from your country?’, ‘Don’t you know that we hate you people?’, ‘We don’t want you in our country.’"

"The price for crossing the border": ​
Maricela Batres was harassed by MS-13 gang members in El Salvador who threatened her business and family. She travelled to the US with her son. 

"The officers told us our children would be taken from us for the crime of crossing the border," she said.
 "The officers said that the children would not return. One said ‘It is the price to pay for crossing the border. We do this so that when you return to your countries you do not return, and so you tell your relatives not to come because we will take your children from you.’ I do not know where my son is. I have had no communication with him. The consulate gave me a paper in English with a telephone number. When I call it, no one answers.”


​Deception: Nery Flores-Oliva was told by an ICE agents that they were taking her son to shower. He never returned.

"​I felt deceived. I never saw him again," she said. "I only ask that I be reunited with my son. He is young. He needs me.”

Not your daughter: After getting caught, Doris Arriaga-Pineda, who ran away from her country to escape domestic violence, was brought before a court, apart from her 6-year-old daughter.

"They took me to the court, when I got back, they had taken her away," she said. "The officer kept saying that I wasn’t my daughter’s mother… What worries me the most about my daughter is the separation… It is difficult for her to eat. She always cries. The day I called, she couldn’t speak. My life is my daughter.”


On Tuesday evening the Trump administration ​announced that it will return to the Obama-era policy of "catch-and-release," tagging migrants who crossed the border illegally with traceable ankle-bracelets.

​This is a policy that the president had ​vowed to undo.