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A disturbing new Frontline documentary, “Targeting El Paso,” which aired last night nationally on PBS, explores how El Paso has become “front and center in America’s ongoing immigration battle,” including how the family separation pilot program in the El Paso CBP sector led to the cruel and chaotic full-scale family separation policy of the Trump Administration. The powerful documentary is chocked full with larger indictments of CBP’s culture of impunity. As part of the documentary, Frontline interviewed a border officer who participated in the implementation of Trump’s cruel family separation policy.
The whole documentary is worth watching and we excerpt key parts of the interview with Wesley Farris below (video available online via this link).
“That was the most horrible thing I’ve ever done,” Wesley Farris, a high-ranking officer with El Paso’s Border Patrol Union, tells FRONTLINE’s Martin Smith in the above excerpt. “You can’t help but see your own kids.”
Carrying out those separations, Farris says, was a tough order.
“I mean, none of us were happy about it,” Farris says. “But everybody around me was just doing exactly what… We were all told to do this.”
Experts say the tactic causes lasting trauma. In the above excerpt, Farris tells FRONTLINE about the effects he witnessed on a child during the last family separation he conducted.
“It was a young boy. I think he was about two. The world was upside down to that kid,” Farris says. “So when the contractor tried to take him away, he reached for me and he climbed up on me again, and he was holding on to me. So that that one got me a little bit.”