New video gives an inside look at a US Border Patrol detention center in Texas, where more than 1,100 people including young children, are being held in crowded, chain linked cages.
Other footage from inside the McAllen detention center shows children, and adults, wrapped in plastic thermal blankets being ushered in, single file, past armed guards, waiting to lock the chain linked fenced cage behind them.
One cage had 20 children inside. Scattered about are bottles of water, bags of chips and large foil sheets intended to serve as blankets.
One teenager told an advocate who visited that she was helping care for a young child she didn’t know because the child’s aunt was somewhere else in the facility.
She said she had to show others in her cell how to change the girl’s diaper.
About 1,100 illegal immigrants are being held at McAllen detention center in crowded conditions, including children who have been separated from their families
Rows and rows of detainees are seated shoulder-to-shoulder inside a cage in Texas
Plastic warming sheets are scattered throughout this small cage where illegal immigrants are being processed at a crowded detention center in McAllen, Texas. This image is from footage of the center that was released by the US Customs and Border agency on Monday
Children are sleeping side-by-side in a cell inside the McAllen detention center, where one teen says she has been changing a baby’s diaper, who she doesn’t know, because the baby was separated from her family
The first photos since zero tolerance was announced inside the largest Border Patrol processing station in U.S. in McAllen, Texas were released Monday morning, ahead of video footage that was released Monday afternoon
The McAllen facility is where more kids are separated from their parents than any other center
Immigrants wait to head to a nearby Catholic Charities relief center after being dropped off at a bus station shortly after release from detention
The footage, which was released by the federal agency after journalists were disallowed from taking their own photos and videos during a press visit Sunday, shows the sparse 22 cells where detainees are sitting, and laying down, shoulder to shoulder.
Reporters were also not allowed to speak to the detainees, or ask them any questions.
Approximately 130 children who have been separated from their families are processed through the detention center in the border town.
More than 250 unaccompanied children were processed through the facility on Sunday alone, according to the LA Times.
The dark facility is divided into separate wings for unaccompanied children, adults on their own, and mothers and fathers with children.
The cages in each wing open out into common areas to use portable restrooms. The overhead lighting in the warehouse stays on around the clock.
The Border Patrol said close to 200 people inside the facility were minors unaccompanied by a parent.
Another 500 were ‘family units,’ parents and children. Many adults who crossed the border without legal permission could be charged with illegal entry and placed in jail, away from their children.
At this rate, President Donald Trump‘s administration could have 30,000 illegal immigrant children in its care by August as prominent voices on both sides of the aisle push the president to halt the family separations.
Trump’s push to decrease the number of illegal border crossings has resulted in the Department of Health and Human Services taking in at least 250 children per day, a senior administration official told the Washington Examiner.
That number is expected to remain steady over the next two months, which means HHS would have 18,500 kids in their care by August. Add those to the 11,500 kids the department is already holding and the total could hit 30,000 by summer’s end.
Last month the administration announced a crackdown on illeg