New Border Photos Show Children Sleeping Shoulder-to-Shoulder in Transparent Pen

March 23, 2021 Updated: March 23, 2021

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials released photos of crowded temporary facilities being used to process illegal immigrants who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border in the midst of a recent surge in migration.

These photos, which were taken in a Donna, Texas, overflow facility, show what appear children sleeping shoulder-to-shoulder on floor mats with what appear to be aluminum blanks—and on benches. Another photo shows a large line of male illegal immigrants waiting to be processed, while another photo shows small children inside a playpen as a TV is showing children’s shows.

The photos were released after Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) and Project Veritas separately released photos of children sleeping on the floor next to each other. Cuellar told Axios that they’re being kept in “terrible conditions” and said the CBP should transfer them to facilities operated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

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A temporary processing facility in Donna, Texas, as seen in a photo released by Customs and Border Protection on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. (CBP)

“More has to be done to address this growing humanitarian crisis,” Cuellar also tweeted. “These migrant children need our help right now. Not later.”

At the same time, members of the media have complained that they are being denied access to observing and reporting on Border Patrol facilities.

On Tuesday, CBP said in a statement that it is continuing “to transfer unaccompanied minors to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as quickly and efficiently as possible after they are apprehended on the Southwest Border.”

Epoch Times Photo
A temporary processing facility in Donna, Texas, as seen in a photo released by Customs and Border Protection on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. (CBP)
Epoch Times Photo
A temporary processing facility in Donna, Texas, as seen in a photo released by Customs and Border Protection on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. (CBP)

The agency added: “In order to protect the health and safety of our workforce and those in our care we continue to discourage external visitors in our facilities; however, CBP is working to balance the need for public transparency and accountability. Still imagery and video are now available of the Donna Processing Center in Donna, Texas, and the Central Processing Center in El Paso, Texas.”

The photos also showed a long line of people waiting to use portable toilets that are apparently being used as restroom facilities for children. Another picture shows numerous children sleeping in a transparent pen.

Epoch Times Photo
A temporary processing facility in Donna, Texas, as seen in a photo released by Customs and Border Protection on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. (CBP)
Epoch Times Photo
A temporary processing facility in Donna, Texas, as seen in a photo released by Customs and Border Protection on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. (CBP)
Epoch Times Photo
A temporary processing facility in Donna, Texas, as seen in a photo released by Customs and Border Protection on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. (CBP)
Epoch Times Photo
A temporary processing facility in Donna, Texas, as seen in a photo released by Customs and Border Protection on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. (CBP)

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday that the Biden administration is “working to finalize details” for allowing the press to see the Border Patrol facilities.

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told several news outlets on Sunday that the previous administration is responsible for the immigrant housing situation, while Republicans have said that President Joe Biden’s policies—including a series of executive orders that rescinded several of the previous administration’s immigration rules—triggered the surge.