CNN | 2018-7-21 | Español

Mother of 6-year-old from ProPublica audio released, headed to reunite with daughter

Updated: 3:27 AM ET, Thu July 12, 2018

(CNN) - The mother of a 6-year-old girl whose gut-wrenching pleas were heard in an audio recording from a detention center was released from immigration custody Wednesday evening.

Cindy Madrid, who was in the Port Isabel Detention Center in Texas, will now head to Arizona where she hopes to see her daughter, Alisson, who is in a facility there.

Madrid, a native of El Salvador, told CNN she was "very happy to be out" and she "can't wait to see her little girl."

The two were separated at the US-Mexico border under the Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy on illegal border crossings. The policy has since been reversed after it drew international outcry.

Alisson's voice was heard last month throughout the nation in a recording that investigative nonprofit ProPublica published of children inside a US Customs and Border Protection detention facility. The children had been separated from their parents.

Madrid recognized her daughter's voice in the recording.

Alisson was heard pleading with officers to call her aunt, reciting for them the number her mother said she memorized during the 17-day journey from their native El Salvador to the US border.

"Mommy says I'll go with my aunt and that she'll come to pick me up as quickly as possible," Alisson said.

The person who made the recording gave the audio to civil rights attorney Jennifer Harbury, who provided it to ProPublica.

"I don't want them to stop my father," a child whispered in Spanish on the recording. "I don't want them to deport him."

Cries of "Mami" and "Papa" were heard. An adult on the recording compared the wrenching cries to an "orchestra."

The clip was widely shared online. Journalists could be heard listening to the audio as they waited for a White House press briefing to start.

Madrid told CNN last month that they had made the journey from El Salvador because she wanted to offer her daughter something more than the poverty and violence of her homeland. She said Alisson was once nearly taken from her arms during a kidnapping attempt at a market.

Alisson was expected to be released soon, pending DNA results.

Madrid said she was proud of her daughter and that she is "so intelligent." Her daughter has "become famous for such a good reason," she said.

CNN's Gary Tuchman reported that the earliest the mother and daughter may be reunited is Friday.


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