McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — Photos obtained by Border Report from inside the U.S. Custom and Border Protection’s tent processing facility in Donna, Texas, show young unaccompanied migrant children and migrant teens sharing cots on a cement floor — sometimes three to a cot.
The recently taken photos were provided by U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar’s office on Monday morning and show the migrants in sealed-off chambers, segregated by gender, and layered with sweatshirts and sweat pants and no social distancing inside the cavernous white tent facility that was built in February about four miles north of the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge.
The faces of the migrants are obscured in the photos, however, they can be seen layered under mylar blankets and with hoodies covering their heads. Facilities like these have long been nicknamed las hieleras, or “the freezers,” because ever since migrants began surging the border into South Texas in 2014, facilities like these have traditionally been kept extremely cold inside.
The photos show clear, see-through plastic separating the various compartments. Most of the migrants have masks, although many have them pulled down below their noses and mouths.
Some migrants are entirely beneath the mylar blankets, which are the type given to marathon runners to keep them warm after races. These blankets are the most hygenic and easiest to store and distribute, Border Patrol agents have told Border Report.
The Donna tent facility has been under national scrutiny as media report thousands of unaccompanied migrant children are being housed there far beyond the 72-hour limit as dictated by federal law, and some over 10 days.
Sandra Sanchez can be reached at Ssanchez@borderreport.com.