New photos have been released that show dozens of children who are packed into migrant facilities at the U.S. southern border. The eye-opening photos were shared by Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar from Texas, who said that the unaccompanied minors were detained by Border Patrol for "far longer" than the 72-hour legal time limit. After 72 hours, minors are supposed to be transferred to a Health and Human Services facility.
Cuellar appeared on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday, where he revealed the packed conditions at migrant facilities. Minors are seen from wall-to-wall with no space for social distancing, and laying on the floor with mylar blankets.
The Democratic congressman said there are "groups of over a hundred individuals coming in into the Border Patrol custody" every single day. He said that it is "nearly impossible to reduce the numbers of people at the detention facilities" when there are hundreds of people illegally crossing over the U.S. border every day.
Cuellar said unaccompanied children are being moved into migrant facilities, but "at first the priority was given to young boys."
"For example, Carrizo Springs has young boys from 13 to 17," Cuellar told host Margaret Brennan. "San Diego is going to be now taking 500 of the young girls— or have taken that."
The Texas representative noted, "Out of the 5,000 plus that they have at the Rio Grande, about 65% are unaccompanied kids."
Cuellar said family units are being released into the U.S., which has caused a "burden" on the border communities. "The cities, the counties, the NGOs," he said. "We're feeling the brunt of what's happening with the family units."
Cuellar admitted that he gets more information about the current border crisis from Mexico than the Biden administration, and hasn't been in contact with Vice President Kamala Harris since November despite her being appointed to take the lead on the migrant surge.
NEW: While journalists' access to migrant facilities continue to be limited, @RepCuellar shares exclusive photos wi… https://t.co/9A1CG67Ykz— Face The Nation (@Face The Nation) 1616943909.0
Last week, Cuellar shared photos taken inside a U.S. Customs and Border Protection temporary surge facility in Donna, Texas. Conditions inside the migrant facilities have been described as "grim," cage-like, and "akin to jails."
https://t.co/jjwutZ9Uty— Ian Miles Cheong (@Ian Miles Cheong) 1616410741.0
Last week, 18 Republican senators went down to the border to examine the immigration crisis. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) claimed that they were blocked by officials from taking photos and videos of the conditions at the migrant facility in Donna, Texas. Cruz released a video of the confrontation with a woman who wouldn't let him record a video inside the migrant facility.