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Immigration | Family Separation | USA

Kidnapped by Uncle Sam!

One couple’s traumatic seven-year journey to find their daughter separated from them at the US southern border

Keyla and Nancy before the Cox family were separated by US Customs & Border Protection and Keyla disappeared by the US Department of Health and Human Services (image courtesy of the Cox family)

In a month that history will remember for the US welcoming Afghan refugees fleeing political chaos, violence, and persecution while expelling Haitians fleeing all these things and more, we perhaps lost sight of the nearly 13,000 children still being held captive by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Hidden from view by US government contractors in retro-fitted big box stores and “shelters” — aka kid’s jails — many were separated from their families at the US border as an unintended consequence of first Trump’s, now Biden’s, invisible border wall: Title 42.

There is one man, however, for whom those young souls are always top of mind: Larry Cox. He lost his child, Keyla, to US Customs and Border Protection officials while attempting to bring her to safety in 2011.

Their seven-year odyssey to recover Keylita, recounted and read by Witness Radio Host & Director, Sarah Towle, reveals that the US was separating families long before Trump made it policy — and still is.

It also sheds light on the less-discussed side of family separation: the indelible mark of trauma left on the parents of children and youth kidnapped by Uncle Sam.

It’s a cautionary tale. One that needs to be told. We thank Larry for entrusting us to tell it.

CLICK HERE for Story Transcript

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Sarah Towle

Sarah Towle

Award-winning London-based author sharing her journey from outrage to activism one tale of humanity and podcast episode at a time @THE FIRST SOLUTION on Medium