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Separated

Written by: Jacob Soboroff
Length: 12 hrs

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Publisher's Summary

NBC News and MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff, winner of the 2019 Walter Cronkite Award for his reporting on the child separation crisis, delivers a profoundly personal and moving report from the border and beyond, revealing the wrenching human story behind one of the most disturbing passages of modern American history.

Donald Trump’s most infamous decision as president, to systematically separate thousands of migrant families at the border, was in effect for months before most Americans saw the living conditions of the children in custody at the epicenter of the policy. NBC News and MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff was among the first national television journalists to expose the truth of what their lives were like on the inside after seeing them firsthand. His widely shared reports in June 2018 ignited public scrutiny that contributed to the President reversing his own policy by Executive Order, and earned Soboroff the Cronkite Award for Excellence in Political Broadcast Journalism and the 2019 Hillman Prize for Broadcast Journalism.

In Separated, Soboroff weaves together his own experience unexpectedly covering this national issue with other key figures in the drama he met along the way, including feuding administration officials responsible for tearing apart and then reuniting families, and the parents and children who were caught in the middle. He reveals new and exclusive details of how the policy was carried out, and how its affects are still being felt. 

Today, there is still not a full accounting of the total number of children the President ripped away from their parents. The exact number may never be known, only that it is in the thousands. Now the President is doubling down on draconian immigration policies, including threatening to hold migrant families indefinitely and making tens of thousands applying for asylum wait in some of Mexico’s most dangerous cities. Separated is required listening for anyone who wants to understand how Trump and his administration were able to carry out this inhumane policy, and how so many missed what was happening before it was too late. Soboroff lays out compassionately, yet in the starkest of terms, its human toll, and makes clear what is at stake in the 2020 presidential election. 

©2020 Jacob Soboroff (P)2020 HarperAudio

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  • Lu
  • 2020-07-09

A must read for thoughtful, caring people who want the ugly truth.

Often a good book is ruined when the writer is also the narrator. That is not the case with this book. Soboroff meticulously reports the great tragedy of the treatment of immigrants and children who become just one more pawn of the sociopathic president, Donald Trumph , and his blind followers who carry out his cruel and short sighted policies. Important reading for all Americans.


13 people found this helpful

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  • Ember Rose Baker
  • 2020-07-11

Important Work -- Must Read

Separated is an important work as it chronicles one of the worst human tragedies imposed by the US government in modern history. It will make you cry. It will make you angry. You will feel retraumatised and ashamed. You will be led through a labyrinth of incompetence, abuse and cruelty that is/was the Trump administration's family separation policy. Jacob Soberoff presents a basically chronological recounting of the way this policy was enacted and played out in the lives of countless immigrant families. He names many of the villains and behind the scenes heroes involved in the reality of Trump's policy. He takes a deep dive into the complicated, if shameful history of the way the US government has tried and failed to deal with it's broken immigration system before and during the Trump administration. The format or style in which the story is presented poses some problems. I found it hard to follow the details. To a large extent, Soboroff quotes from his notes or his TV reporting using a lot of numbers and dates. This makes the audible format less than ideal -- the numbers become kind of a blur, and the notes are disjointed. It would probably be much easier to follow in written text form. There would be visual clues from formatting and punctuation that would help. Thus, the 3 star rating for story. Evenso, the story is of such high value historically and morally, I still recommend you read/listen to it however you can get hold of it.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Bubikon
  • 2020-07-22

Donald Trump Tortured Over 5,500 Children

Donald Trump should not be reelected President of the United States. He instituted a policy that tortured over 5,500 children, many of them babies in diapers. 7 of them died. The torture conclusion was the determination of the Nobel Peace Prize winning not-for-profit Physicians for Human Rights. Other organizations including the American Psychological Association, the America Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Physicians have concluded that the policy caused irreparable harm, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), cruel and inhuman treatment and child abuse. Donald Trump today regrets ending the program. Jacob Soboroff’s excellent book is based on his reporting and incredible data collection for the past several years. He proves that Donald Trump has lied about the program being started by Barack Obama, that the program did not even exist as America’s lawyers lied in court, that it effectively deterred immigration and that there was an effective way to reunite children. In the book we learn that the “zero tolerance” policy of the Trump administration falsely criminalized people who crossed the border seeking asylum from death or serious harm to them and their children. As a result, they were criminally charged and their children were taken away for many months, many with no contact even by phone. The children were called “unaccompanied” which made reuniting the families infinitely difficult. People were directed not even to pick up and hold babies in diapers who were kept form their parents. When Donald Trump eventually reluctantly ended the program, it was discovered that there were no accurate records of where the children were taken and how to reunite them with the parents. Absent the remarkable work of the ACLU and many immigrant associations, the program would still exist. The Trump administration started a policy of lying to the parents about ever seeing their children and they had to abandon the children for any hope that the child could stay in the United States. As a result, several children today cannot be with their parents as they have been deported. Mr. Soboroff puts the facts together in a remarkable story that should never be forgotten or duplicated. As Donald Trump said months after he ended the family separation policy, he regrets having done so. There is only one way to guarantee the prevention of future child torture by the United States of America, and that will be decided in November of 2020.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Leslie A. Ramirez
  • 2020-07-23

Unbelievable

A must read for a better understanding of what Trump and his administration have done, and continue to do against family's.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Walter Gottschalk
  • 2020-07-18

Better all the way around then I expected

Very impressive presentation of this story that I remember following nightly on MSNBC. Di d not drag and conveyed a focus on how intentionally cruel this policy was. Fits president Trump to a “T”. Hopefully in January 2021 a new Democratically controlled congress will begin a measure investigative process to present this story for the public record.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Pauline P.
  • 2020-07-29

Despicable replay but necessary.

You are a hero for the reporting you conducted. As difficult as it was to relive the inhumane experience through your reading, it was important to refamilarize myself with the tragic details and names of the despicable Trump administration officials that allowed this abhorrent policy to take place. Gratefully, it was ended sooner than they expected, but perhaps it will hold ramifications in the upcoming election and end the reign of the formidable heartless and stupid president, Alex Azar, Stephen and Katie Miller (particularly evil), Wolf, Scott, etc. They should be held responsible for the atrocious damage they have done to these children. Horrible events by inhumane individuals. Thank you for the unfortunate job in having to relive it for the book. Hug your son tightly. God bless you and your family.

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  • AZee
  • 2020-07-29

Buy the print version

Sorry, not sorry, but you’ve heard the old saying “they have a face for radio”, we’ll... he has a voice for the written word. I’m 6 chapters in, and this book is painful to listen to. It’s flat, monotone, nearly affectless delivery made me wish that the author would have read it just to add SOME level of interest to the delivery. Imagine my surprise to realize the author IS the narrator. Sorry, Mr. Soboroff.

The story, when I can glean part of it, is interesting and well researched, and I really do appreciate the effort to collect and provide the back story in a chronological, meaningful way; I want to know the information within, but...

I’ve often bought the Audible version when I haven’t had the time to read a book, but this will be the first time I’ve done the reverse; I’ll be buying the print version just to be able to comprehend what the author is trying to tell us.

While I usually really enjoy listening to the story in the author’s own voice, this is an exception. Buy the print version.

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  • Carla Maningas
  • 2020-07-26

Heartbreaking

The book is a little slow starting, heavy on the use of government acronyms but catches your attention soon enough with a detailed account of the Trump family separation policy and its heartbreaking impact. Well done. Glad I stuck with it.