Photos released on Monday (March 22) show migrants crowded into holding areas separated by plastic sheeting at a temporary processing center near the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas.
U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar (Texas – Democrat) captured the images during a recent trip to inspect the facility.
President Joe Biden’s administration is wrestling with a growing humanitarian crisis at the border, where the spike in the number of migrants fleeing violence, natural disasters and economic hardship in Central America is testing the Democratic president’s commitment to a more humane immigration policy.
U.S. officials are struggling to house and process an increasing number of unaccompanied children, many of whom have been stuck in jail-like border stations for days while they await placement in government-run shelters.
Officials now plan to house some migrant families in hotels under a new program managed by nonprofit organizations, Reuters reported on Saturday (March 20), in a departure from the use of for-profit detention centers that have been criticized by Democrats and health experts.
(Production: Kevin Fogarty, Deborah Gembara)