The pandemic capacity of the south Texas intake facility is 250 people, but on Tuesday, there were 4,100 people being held there. Over 3,400 of them were children, with the youngest being four months old.
“The smugglers just drop them off” near the border, Deputy Border Chief Raul Ortiz said of the families and children.
Officials from CBP walked a news crew through a series of the 3,200 square foot pods where the unaccompanied minors sleep. Under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, each should only hold 32 kids. The three reviewed by the media had 516, 576 and 615 kids per pod.
Some were being kept in an area that was supposed to be an indoor play space, but was converted to a sleep area when it went over capacity.