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Dem congressman releases photos of crowded migrant children in holding center in Texas

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Migrant children Texas

The pictures were released by Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, and portrait the stack conditions at a Border Patrol facility in Donna

Photos of migrants in a crowded border facility in Donna, Texas, were released Monday by the office of Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas. In them, several dozen minors are observed, most of them wearing masks, wrapped in aluminum blankets to protect themselves from the cold. Others can be seen apparently sharing individual pads on the floor. 

Cuellar assures that they were taken recently and that they correspond to the Donna-Rio Bravo International Center of the Border Patrol in Texas. Currently, the Biden administration limits media access to the southwestern border. 

The White House has said that it is limiting media access to border facilities in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday that the Biden administration is aiming to finalize details on how the media can access border facilities like the one in Donna, Texas. 

The author of the photographs remains anonymous. “Someone presented me with these photos,” Cuellar told journalist Satcha Pretto during a live telephone interview on the Despierta América program.

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The legislator did not provide further details but assured that they are recent and correspond to the facilities of the center located in Donna. He also said the images reminded him of the crisis of 2014 when the then administration of Barack Obama detained more than 66,000 minors during that fiscal year. 

It’s “the same thing we saw in 2014,” Cuellar said. According to Cuellas’ office, the Donna center can house about 230 minors, but by this weekend the number of detainees exceeded 400.

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Since President Joe Biden took office, the administration has reversed several of the immigration measures of former President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy. This triggered the 1997 Flores Agreement and the 2008 TVPRA Act, which regulate the treatment of migrant minors.

However, the government has indicated that there is not sufficient response capacity to comply with the mandate of the law, but that it does everything possible to comply, including the maximum time of stay in Border Patrol centers, which is 72 hours. 

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