Familes and Children Held In U.S. Customs and Border Protection Processing Facility

For the past few weeks, the US Southern border has been the site of a humanitarian crisis: a surge in the number of unaccompanied, undocumented minors trying to cross into the United States, mostly from Central America. The situation has created a national outcry and has overwhelmed immigration authorities like the Border Patrol, in charge of holding the children for within 72 hours, the detention time limit set by Border Patrol. The situation prompted this tweet, republished on Vox, from the Border Patrol Union showing the insensitivity of the organization to the situation. The tweet has since been deleted.

Latino USA reached out to K, an anonymous worker at a place where undocumented child immigrants are held and processed before being released to family or deported. Many of these children came to the United States by themselves. K tells Maria Hinojosa about the conditions the children live in, and discusses the Texas facility known to the children as la hielera, or the icebox, where many of them were previously held, in cold, crowded conditions.


Photo of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales, AZ Placement Center — not mentioned in this story — by Ross D. Franklin-Pool/Getty Images