Immigration and Customs Enforcement repeatedly lied in an attempt to convince a news outlet that a crash – involving a van transporting eight Central American mothers who’d been separated from their children – never happened.
The Texas Observer revealed the deceit in a report Wednesday, in which it presented a detailed police report and interviews with some of the mothers to establish what really happened:
According to a police report obtained by the Observer and individual interviews with four of the passengers, the crash occurred as the group was leaving a Sunoco gas station just off Interstate 35. The van’s driver was an employee of Trailboss Enterprises, an Alaska-based company that provides transportation for ICE in Central and South Texas. The driver failed to come to a stop and T-boned an F-250 that was entering the gas station, police said. The mothers told the Observer the impact slammed them against the seats in front of them, resulting in headaches, dizziness, nausea and injury to one woman’s leg, which began swelling immediately.
Two days after the crash, an ICE spokesperson, Leticia Zamarripa, told the Observer: “Your sources misinformed you.”
“There was no crash,” Zamarripa said.
Informed later that the paper had obtained a contradictory police report, ICE tried a different tactic.
The incident was a “fender bender not vehicle crash,” ICE spokesperson Adelina Pruneda told the paper, one that “resulted in minor damage to both vehicles.”
That was also at odds with the police report, which called the damage to the van “disabling,” and said it was towed from the scene.
Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) also wants answers, having been given his own set of contradictory details from ICE.
Read the full Observer report here.