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Thousands of children that came across the southern border illegally are crowded in the Donna overflow detention facility near the border in the southern tip of Texas, according to leaked images.

The images show hundreds of children huddled under emergency blankets, in the jam-packed “cells” divided by transparent plastic curtains hanging from metal frames. Eight such “cells” form a “pod.” The facility, composed of several interconnected massive tents, contains eight “pods” that hold an average of 3,000 people at any given time, according to Project Veritas, an undercover journalism nonprofit that released the images on March 22. That adds up to 47 people per cell on average.

Inside the cell, the floor is lined with what appears to be 4-inch thick mattresses, though some children seem to be sleeping on the floor. There’s barely any room left to walk in and out through the single glass-pane door per cell.

“They are separated by age or physical size depending on room,” the source of the images told Veritas. “Fifty were COVID positive in these cells over the last few days. There have been multiple sexual assaults, normal assaults and daily medical emergencies.”

The 185,000-square foot facility was finished about a month ago, while the pictures are a few days old, Veritas said.

Another set of images, showing similar conditions, was released by Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas).

The Biden administration has blocked media and NGO access to the facilities, claiming privacy and safety reasons, but also denied requests for images to demonstrate the conditions inside.

The Department of Homeland Security responded to a request for comment by referring to comments by its secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, during a March 21 CNN interview:

“I have said repeatedly from the very outset a Border Patrol station is no place for a child,” Mayorkas said. “That is why we are working around the clock to move these children out of the Border Patrol facilities into the care and custody of the Department of Health and Human Services that shelters them.”

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As of March 14, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents were holding more than 13,000 unaccompanied children in custody, according to CBS News. Many were held longer than the legal limit.

CBP noted a more than 100 percent month-over-month increase in February in border encounters with family units and unaccompanied minors coming in illegally. Republicans have for weeks been calling a border situation a crisis, while the White House has avoided using the term.

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) on Sunday predicted that 1 million people would try to make their way into the United States by summer, attributing the influx to the policies of President Joe Biden.

“It’s going to get worse. It’s going to get a lot worse, springtime, summer, more and more come over. The message is coming back that, ‘Hey, we got a new president, come on in, we’re open for business to the traffickers,’” McCaul said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”

Biden in his first days in office signed several executive actions to reverse many of the Trump administration’s immigration policies meant to deter Central Americans from trying to enter the United States illegally. Instead, Biden proposed a pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal aliens and promised to create “a humane asylum system.”

The Biden administration stopped the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP) program, which required most illegal immigrants to remain in Mexico while their cases were adjudicated. “Catch and release” has taken the place of MPP, and illegal border crossings, including unaccompanied minors, have surged.

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VIDEO: Biden administration faces lawsuit from Texas, Missouri

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Texas AG Ken Paxton tells newsmen that he believes the states will win in court and discusses the debate over reforming the Supreme Court.

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Border Crisis

Sen. Blackburn asks Biden admin why U.S. spending $284K per migrant family to keep them in hotels

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“The cost to taxpayers for housing 1,200 migrant families for six months is about $71,000 per person,” the Tennessee senator says.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn has done the math.

The Tennessee Republican’s interest was piqued after the Biden administration announced its intention to spend nearly $87 million to house 1,200 foreigners who illegally cross the border in hotel rooms in the U.S.

“As the current contract stands, the cost to taxpayers for housing 1,200 migrant families for six months is about $71,000 per person,” Blackburn wrote in a letter Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Tae Johnson. “For a family of four, that amounts to a shocking $284,000 – enough to buy a small house.”

Earlier this month, the administration awarded ICE an $86.9 million contract through Texas-based nonprofit Endeavors, which will provide hotel rooms near the border for temporary shelter. But Blackburn also questions how the group spends its money.

She said Endeavors in 2018 collected more than $38 million in contributions and grants but noted that “IRS filings show that nearly $22 million or almost half of those contributions went to salaries.”

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“This raises questions if half of the $86.9 million in ICE contract proceeds will likewise be allocated toward employee and executive compensation instead of migrant services or housing,” Blackburn wrote in her letter.

She also expressed concerns that Endeavors’ CEO Jon Allman has not provided “specific details about the contract.”

“It is unclear whether this nonprofit has ever previously managed a contract of this magnitude, housed a migrant population of this size or served vulnerable children without putting them at further risk,” Blackburn wrote. “DHS and ICE must provide commitments to assure Congress and the American public that Endeavors is up for the task of securely and efficiently housing illegal immigrants without resulting in waste or abuse of taxpayer dollars, or worse, harming vulnerable migrant children.”

Blackburn asked for answers by April 15.

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Border Crisis

Trump Addresses Border Crisis in Wedding Speech at Mar-a-Lago

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Former President Donald Trump lamented the worsening crisis on the southern border during a brief speech at a wedding party at his resort in Palm Beach, Florida, over the weekend.

“The border is the worst anybody has ever seen it. And what you see now, multiply it times 10,” Trump said according to a video obtained by TMZ.

“What’s happening to the kids—they’re living in squalor. They are living like nobody has ever seen anybody,” he added. “It’s going to be—look, it’s a disaster. It’s a humanitarian disaster from their standpoint and it’s going to destroy the country. And frankly, the country can’t afford it because you’re talking about massive, just incredibly massive amounts—and that’s our school systems, our hospital systems, everything.”

President Joe Biden revoked or put on hold more than a dozen Trump-era immigration directives and policies. Some experts say the revocations are to blame for the flood of unaccompanied minors and family units crossing the border illegally.

“They have the airplane photos—they call them shots—and these things are showing thousands of people coming over from South America,” Trump said.

“So it’s a rough thing and I just say, ‘do you miss me yet?’ Trump said to cheers from the crowd.

The former president also touched on the Biden administration’s handling of the relationships with China and Iran.

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“China … they never treated us that way right? You saw what happened a few days ago? It was terrible,” the former president said in an apparent reference to a rebuke a top Chinese official delivered on U.S. soil earlier this month to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The Trump administration had imposed massive tariffs on China and crippling sanctions on Iran.

“They’re telling me about China. They’re telling me about Iran. How are we doing with Iran? How do you like that? Boy, they were ready to make a deal. They would have done anything. They would have done anything and this guy goes and he drops the sanctions,” Trump said in reference to Biden withdrawing sanctions on Iran in February.

Trump also touched on the topic of the election, raising doubts about Biden’s come-from-behind victory.

“We did get 75 million votes. Nobody’s ever gotten that,” the former president said. “They said get 66 million votes, sir, and the election is over. Well, I got 75 million and you saw what happened.”

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