A sobering look inside a Customs and Border Protection tent city in Texas

A sobering look inside a Customs and Border Protection tent city in Texas

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Photos from inside a temporary Customs and Border Protection migrant shelter in Texas offer a sobering glimpse into the overcrowded conditions faced by hundreds of children in US custody.

The photos, provided to Axios by Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) on Monday, were taken over the weekend at a “soft-sided” CBP facility in Donna, Texas. He said he did not take the photos himself.

They come as the Biden administration continues its unprecedented media blackout at these facilities — with the Department of Homeland Security outright refusing to allow journalists to visit and report on the conditions.

Speaking to Axios, Cuellar described what he saw as “terrible conditions for the children,” arguing that minors need to be moved far more quickly into the care of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The inside a US Customs and Border Protection temporary overflow facility in Donna, Texas.

Under US law, unaccompanied minors are required to be moved from CBP to HHS care within 72 hours.

But in the wake of the spiraling crisis at the border, children have been reported to be in CBP care for upwards of 10 days.

The new administration’s efforts to undo former President Donald Trump’s border policies have unleashed a flood of Central American and Mexican illegal migrants at the US border, including thousands of unescorted children.

Children who enter the US without their parents or another adult spend an average of 136 hours in Border Patrol custody before being turned over to Heath and Human Services.

The children, who enter the US without their parents or another adult, are spending an average of 136 hours — 5 days, 16 hours — in Border Patrol custody before being turned over to Heath and Human Services.

Given the extraordinary crisis facing Border Patrol, Cuellar argued that agents were “doing the best they can under the circumstances” but are “not equipped to care for kids” and “need help from the administration.”

More photos provided by the House Democrat showed children huddled together amid a pandemic — a problem that is only set to worsen as the migrant surge is expected to escalate.

Customs and Border Protection recorded more than 34,000 crossings in just 19 days, as of last Thursday. As of Saturday, there were 10,000 migrants in CBP custody overall.

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