Photos released by the United States Customs and Border Protection agency show children using foil-like sheets as blankets as well as cage-like structures inside of a South Texas Border Patrol immigration processing center. The McAllen facility, known as Ursula, has separate wings for unaccompanied children, adults who are by themselves, and mothers and fathers who are accompanied by children.
From Ursula, children will be sent to separate facilities run by the Department of Health and Human Services while their parents are sent to a detention center to await prosecution before a federal judge, NBC News reported. No one is supposed to be kept at such facilities for more than 72 hours, but a backlog at HHS centers for children is forcing minors to stay past that limit.
Reporters were allowed to visit the facility this weekend in response to criticism of the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy, which separates children from their parents, because the adults have been referred to the Department of Homeland Security for prosecution, NBC News reported. Cameras were not permitted on the tour.