In an act of sheer desperation, dozens of migrant parents separated from their children wrote an open letter to the US public, hoping someone — anyone — can help get them out of this “nightmare.”

The joint letter, from 54 detainees at the Port Isabel Service Detention Center in Los Fresnos, Texas, said the parents came to save the lives of their children. That their children don’t recognize their voices anymore. That they never expected the trauma they’re enduring.

Here’s the text of the parents’ letter, translated from Spanish:

July 15, 2018

To the United States public:

Please help us. We are desperate parents.

We are not criminals, but we need your help.

We came to this country to save our lives and the lives of our children. We were not prepared for the nightmare that we faced here. The United States government, kidnapped our children with tricks and didn’t give us the opportunity to say goodbye.

It’s been more than a month and we haven’t been told much about our children. They are living in places with strangers. We’ve been told that some children are living with new families. Each day is more painful that the last.

Many of us have only spoken with our children once when we have the opportunity to speak with them (which is very difficult because the social worker never answers.) The children cry, they don’t recognize our voices and they feel abandoned and unloved. This makes us feel dead in life. Even with all this trauma, nightmares, anguish and pain that this government is imposing on us and our children, we still have to fight for our asylum cases. But the government doesn’t give us the opportunity to fight our cases and the judges don’t give us the opportunity to speak up.

The asylum official is denying nearly all cases and so are the judges. They don’t give us an opportunity to explain why we came here. We also feel pressured to sign for our deportation as a quick means to reunite with our children.

We feel like there is no way out of this nightmare because the asylum officials and the judges are against us.

Please help us and bring justice to Texas!

Dalila Suyapa and her son Cesar (center) take a break from the sun after Border Patrol agents took them in custody in Mission, Texas on Friday.

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