Crisis at the border: What's next for children separated from parents?

ABC News breaks down Trump's executive order ending the family separation policy, the trauma suffered by children and what's ahead in the immigration debate.
41:24 | 06/21/18

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Transcript for Crisis at the border: What's next for children separated from parents?
Hey there and thanks for joining us on this special edition of ABC news life crisis on the border I'm GO Benito on the US Mexico border here in El Paso, Texas of course just on the other side of this. Is Mexico and that is where so many of these people so many of the migrants are coming over crossing the border. And we are here of course talking about those families those children. That have been separated from their families more than 2300. Children right now that we know of in shelters. Across this country that are being cared for alone without any parental supervision supervision they are the parents of course. All are in custody and many of these children. Have been kept in what looked to be cages that we have correspondents and experts. All across this country covering the story we're going to be getting right now. In McAllen Texas with our Marcus board Marcus you were actually is what do these tender age shelters these of those shelters for the very young kids. The tell us what that was like. While we were fudging of the morning to you we were at one of the ups in the raid shelters like yesterday in Raymond bill it's one of three. Here in the Rio Grande Valley area of Texas southwestern part of the state. And I can tell you that that particular facility. Was very remotely within an area that is surrounded by crop land on all four sides and at the facility that's behind agreed behind green fencing. And we saw a soccer field there along with soccer goals and pay up picnic. Area where that had a covering on it. But what was so striking about it to me. Is that this particular facility with with a remote and the only thing you really hurt out there GO. A what we were there. Was the the sound of birds chirping you also heard a frauds and the occasional car would pass by. But outside of that not a lot of activity out there and and then again. That's just one. Several. Facilities but here in the Texas area where the youngest be a tender rates children at that has been described as they have been described. Are being kept. And Julie you know that that that the New York Times published although. From inside. One of its facilities. Showing a child who appeared to be about a year old crawling around and it's it's our first glimpse. Inside one of these the subtleties that. This morning. So many people are still trying to get into to see for themselves in fact they're the delegation. Interfaith leaders here at McAllen today. That will be scoring the meat processing center. War of this particular sector along the border that's center here in McAllen. And that is a place where there are more than a thousand men women and children being held there in those cage like. Cells that you describe. I thought that facility with my own eyes over the weekend that would make striking sight. And it is just one of the many places that have been the focus. Of this controversy. As it relates to the front administration's. Zero tolerance policy. Regarding illegal border crossings and the family separations that it happened. Along the border. Yeah and and markets these images that we're looking at right now these are the images. That really caused such an uproar in this country. When they were televised and we should tell you. That these particular images were actually shot by the government because markets when you went into that facility. You and other journalists were not allowed to take any videos or shoot any photos. That's right that's right to go and the fact that our colleague topping up its they had the same. Stipulation is that he could go and I was allowed to go into the facility that I toward but we could not bring any electronic devices most felt no reporting divisive. And no cameras. And we asked why that was the case and the representatives with border protection agency said that it was. Basically to protect the identity of the people who work. Being held there those who didn't want to be only. And soul they. Did belief that men and 34 seconds that helps them to paint the picture. The environments. That these. Undocumented immigrants are again as they wait to figure out what their next step will be. The facility that I was able to go into an and the pictures that we're showing. That is what proper the first stop for most of the people once they are apprehended along the border. Here they then go to that facility. And they are process. And from there we understand where that the family separations. What happened but DO again it was such a striking sight inside because I think what really. Stands out to me or stood out to me at that time we're seeing the children behind these pages of behind the gates. Still being children. Not in a child like environment and they didn't seem to be aware of the seriousness of the situation they were in nor what could be. Them being separated from from their parents in the coming days so. Certainly a very emotional time for the people who were involved in that and a copy will be that way this morning. I want to have our producers if we can I'd love to see if we could put that photo up again from the New York Times. Of that little twelve months older who we believe to be twelve months old because it's really just such a striking image there it is right there. And it's such a striking image to see that a her playing right there because this is. The face of that these are children that our young people were thing oval maybe they're just sort of teenagers know though we're also talking about children that aren't that. Young and there is no plan right now markets two to reunite these these parents and children just yet right. Now what we don't know what the plan is and how long that might take an end and some fear. Some advocates who fear that they may never be reunited with with their parents of course I don't know the answers to those questions at this point but. It is that image that certainly represents. What is so sensitive about this and is innocent children. Who are caught in the middle of this adult fight. If you will self the answer to that question when will these children being you rate reunited how will that all take place but we still don't know at this point and certainly. It will be something a part of its will be watching very closely. All right Marcus Moore thank you so much you've been covering this all week long and we so appreciate all of your hard work. Think you mark this we're gonna turn now to the White House and are let signs is there. And or let the president yesterday of course signed that executive order that executive order stopping. The separation of these families at the border. What do we know so far felt that wall. Days after the president insisted that he could not act on his own to end. These separations he did just that I sign that executive order to ensure that families will be kept together when they are apprehended after crossing. The border illegally but as Marcus and you pointed out they're still so many questions. About how this policy is going to play out one of the biggest questions what happens next. To those when he 300 kids who were apprehended since may who were separated from their family. The White House really hasn't detailed how and when they will be reunited with their families. Department of homeland surprised by the Department of Health and Human Services. Saying that. It's still very early but there's also been mixed messages from the administration on that. A something else that he executive order calls for is for facilities to house. He's Stanley is after they are detained were unclear. Where those facilities are going to be what they're going to look like. And even how long they need be remaining in custody so one thing that the top administration. Still have to deal with as something that's been called. The more a settlement goes back to the 1990s which basically outlines that children cannot be detained by ice. For more than twenty days in what president trump has done he's asked to Justice Department to go ahead and challenge that decree. And go ahead and basically not pay attention to it while it's in court being challenged and drug administration is likely going to face legal challenges their own if they try to whole families. Passat current when he let. Yeah in twenty days we know that these children. Have actually been held on an average of 56 or 57 days or less so. That's going to be something that no doubt will come up in this. Now we also have some mixed messages over the past. Week over the past month on this issue coming from this administration we have some of that right now so let's play. Yes I am considering an audit to deter. More movement along this terribly dangerous network I'm considering. Exactly that they will be well cared for as we deal with their parents. I have put in place a zero tolerance policy for illegal entry. On us out rest border. If you are smuggling a child. Then we will prosecute you. And that child may be separated from view as required. Law well you guys and at the guitar. I say that if the fact that. No one was being prosecuted for this as a factor in a five fold increase in four years in this kind of illegal immigration. So yes hopefully people will get the masses. Until these loopholes are closed by congress it is not possible as a matter of law. To detain and remove whole family units who arrive illegally in the United States. Congress and the courts created this problem and congress alone can fix that are you intending. What is it is plain you're standing where parents to be separated from them and intends. I I find that offensive. Because but why would I ever create a policy that purposely does that. Now it's not. Which be more specifically. It's worth it launches its familiar with top sounds the scene. From these big box or the Wal-Mart or when you see this how is this not specific. Child that is what is innocent children. Are indeed being separated from their parents 101000. At those currently in custody were sent by their parents with strangers to undertake a completely. Dangerous and deadly travel a live. We now care for them we have high standards we gifts and meals we give them education we give them medical care. And I can't do it's ironic yeah and we look forward and expect the house to act this week. We asked them to do their job velocity he changed is the problem that president after president has dealt with for decades. This one is willing to stand up and fix that we have congress either are being. He Cypriot leaders thank you very much Richard. Okay. There's been going on for sixteen years. Sixteen years nobody's taken care. Did not sending their fine is static content and weighs sending of the held back at what we're doing. What we know it. And right there you heard the president actually say. Just last week just days ago that you cannot solve this with an executive order and of course what he did yesterday was signed an executive order or let what does the administration saying. About these seemingly shifting positions. While they still hadn't fully detailed why there has been so many mixed messages not just on that executive order but you also heard. That the comments that are made about whether or not this was a deterrent that this administration has really just been drilling an honest zero tolerance policy and focusing on how much they want to crack down. On illegal immigration and hasn't really explained why there have been so many ships we've known all along that this was a policy. That was created by this Tron. White House and so the president has always from the beginning been able to. Do something about it on is down but just had insane but he could and there's really no explanation for why he had been taking tactic. And the president actually held a rally yesterday in Duluth and we heard a lot of this rhetoric. From the when he sixteen campaign law that same rhetoric was at this rally are now. Yeah I you know it it felt like we are back and when he is sixteen he talked about this immigration separated families just appearing briefly but then went away hammering. At Democrats say that they are to blame for the immigration problems here in this country also he started those chants of billable wallop something. I wasn't popular refrain that during the 2016. Campaign we also heard you know a lot of chance about Hillary Clinton or saint lock her up. So the president front when he goes on these campaign events you know those off script and I often likes to go back to my sixteen days of readiness. And quickly or let we actually have to immigration bills heading it to the house today what can we expect from congress. Yassin the house get a vote on Q Republican packages but right now it's unclear whether there's even enough support among Republicans to get either one of these past they need to eighteen boats and the boats are pretty high I did it we really don't think. That these measures are actually going to make it through the press actually complicated things a little bit earlier today when he tweet about this as. Typically declaring that it's a futile efforts. For our republic house Republicans to be voting on these ills he said what is the purpose of the house doing good immigration bills when you need at nine votes by Democrats. In the senate so. Even if these bills were passed in the house they are likely face a dead and if they needed over the senate there's no guarantee. It would be brought up for a vote and that's they need sixty votes over there and there's only 51 Republicans. It is and it seems unlikely that it would even be able to clear procedural hurdles animated over to the senate some house Republicans are frustrated with the president's. Tweet this morning as saying that he basically makes their lives little bit difficult. By saying that what they're doing coming up in her wrist. Are right or left signs at the White House thank you so much or elect for joining us live here on ABC news live. We're gonna turned out to Guatemala and really the first human face truly human face of this story we're talking about a ten year old boy. Who was separated from his father eight months ago when they crossed the border illegally they were from. El Salvador and excused me from Guatemala they cross the border illegally. And in October the father was taken into custody he was arrested the boy was sent to a shelter then he was sent. And to Foster care to live with a family. In Michigan are Alex Perez was there as now that father and son were reunited in Guatemala mystical. It's 4 in the morning a ten year old someway is already at the airport after a late night of packing up his Teddy bear and art supplies. He's about to board a flight from Michigan back home to his native Guatemala. To reunite with his family he hasn't seen in eight months. Some went with his Foster parents were still fostering other children so we agreed not to show their faces. Day and their own three children have been caring for some ways since the boy's father illegally cross the border with him and they were apprehended. Immigration officials immediately separating them his father deported already back in while. Mow his father was do that taken away and what he described as handcuffs behind his back. And are way it was that detained for trying for hours and a detention facility. But when he came to us he was extraordinarily fair trial he is afraid to each has afraid to not disclose where soiled he wouldn't use the bathroom. His father deported to Guatemala with the boys still here in the United States is separated from his parents. Able to speak to his father only by thought here's our county couldn't top she was crying so hard that he was lost. So plentiful sack since a separation somewhere and living here in their home drawing him playing becoming one of the family. And this morning as someone said good bye tears and hugs from his new family in America as he boards his flights to family in Guatemala. I'm when boards the plane accompanied by an ice agent the big question tonight with president trump signing that executive order today. What will happen to the families now separated. Whose parents have gone back to their country but their kids are still in America. And what about the detained parents who have been moved to different cities in the US away from their children back in Guatemala and waiting in tears his father and a little Cortez. I ask him how he feels. Some. I may look like memo case has the my heart has been in pain hurting because of this. It about eight hours later somewhere it lands in Guatemala City and after an evaluation by doctors he's brought in to reunite with his family. That tearful look in his eyes and confusion on his space the room. Filled with government officials somewhat overwhelmed appearing shell shocked. Going back to a family he loves and having to leave a family he lives. An incredible story Alex an incredible journey Alex Perez joins us live right now. From Guatemala Alex you have a very unique perspective here something that people don't pedal to see very often and certainly in the story we haven't seen yet. Where you're looking at a child who has not been reunited. You're seeing what he's acting like before that he's reunited with his father and then you saw what he was like after he was reunited it just Toby a little bit about what you witnessed. They are at the airport because there were other children their two. Well I can take you it was an absolutely emotional day for everyone involved it started very early in the morning about. 3 of the morning they sir the process of getting to the airport there were three other children were also going to be escorted back. Here's a Guatemala City with some weather and they were emotional for a lot of reasons you've got to imagine these are kids and this is. Very dramatic depth and experience these are big big changes happening in their lives. Almost every day so trying to process all that and deal with that is typical for an adult yet alone a child and there's some sense of their emotion is split because he's gotten to loved his Foster family of course over the last eight months but now he's also leaving them. To return to his biological family and so it. Processing that is something that's very difficult thing here in Guatemala I wanted to give you an idea pull the curtain back a little bit of what we're doing we're at one of the main city squares here that the big government building executive offices Deborah. You look over here you'll see there's a shoe polish or somebody cleaning shoes and there's an army of these guys all over the place. People in this country work very very very hard to get whatever they can't. The problem is no matter how hard they work a lot of them. They still cannot make ends meet and that was the case with some wise father and that's the case that a lot of people here are facing those guys polishing shoes they charge six get silence that's about. Eighty cents more or less and they spend the entire day. Roaming through town trying to get some went to greet eleven Hollister shoes for about eighty cents so the struggle here this sense of of need in trying to. Just make ends meet it's something that's very prominent in the air and and we saw that we witnessed some of that with some weather and his family. Yeah Alex and every expert we talked to says that it's desperation. That is making so many of these families crossed the border illegally of course we know. That there are drugs there are people who were involved in crime and they are crossing the border to but in particular these families it's desperation that's making them do this is that was the case with this particular family this fault. Sure. Sure I talked to aren't accurate they'll summers' father he says it was not an easy decision. Did it or easy trip is easy ordeal to try to cross and the United States. But he says he thought he had no other option he wanted to try tip build homes have something for his family tried to look. Provide a better life than he said he was hoping that his family his children their four children in total could perhaps study could perhaps not have to struggle to wipe. Through what he has been going through. But. He says when he made that decision to cross the border heat he had no idea that he would be split from his son. And that it would go on for this long for eight months and he says while his intentions were all good. He he was he he regrets that he was split from his son from that amount of time. He says who have it was one of the most difficult things ever had to go to you described it as a void hole in his heart. And now that he's finally back with his son he says. He wants to still continue to do to work on whatever he can even if it's from here. To try to build a better life for them they live about six hours away from Guatemala City in a very very rural area. He lives with family. So some was Femi lives with other family members because they don't have anywhere to live and so. He's trying to do whatever they can to essentially make ends meet. The Foster family that someone I was with in Michigan. They want to maintain a relationship with him they say they. What. By a bed for him. So they want to maintain a relationship with him but it's not going to be easy for them and certainly this story is not easy for anyone involved or the 2000 other kids are still remain. In in nimble right now. Alex did you notice a shift in in how he was behaving when he finally reunited with his father mean it must have been so strange for him. Eight months later he hadn't seen his father it all that time since last October what was he like. When he finally reunited with his father. Well yeah I got to spend the entire day with him so I really got to know what he is like in he's he's. Happy boy but he's also a very very highly emotional boy. And it's clear that he has been through a lot of trauma a lot of emotion. And at that age ten years old he just doesn't know how to process it it doesn't take a genius to figure that out he doesn't know how to processing he was ripped away from his family. And now he's with a new family now he's being pulled away from them. And so when he saw his father when he walked into that room yesterday it was a roomful of officials Guatemalan federal officials were there cameras were there his father was there. You have to remember every time he walks into a room full officials something dramatic happens in his life so he didn't know what exactly was gonna happen. If you look at the images is almost that. Face of a shock he shell shocked he doesn't know what to expect and he doesn't immediately run to his father. Because it's unclear what's going to hop and in his mind. So there's a lot of drama they're a lot of things unpack and unfold and you know he may be back with his family now but I. He and so many of the other children going through this it's gonna take a while to sort of process all this. If you're out really what the long lasting a facts will be for them. GO. Alex just incredible reporting there in Guatemala a safe travels back home thank you so much for joining us live here. With that really incredible report thank you Alex. We're gonna turn now to our ABC news headquarters in New York where you would usually find us reporting from but that's what we thought. Doctor Jamie Howard of the child light institute and we're gonna talk about that trauma doctor doctor Howe noted that trauma how dramatic is this. For these children. That this is incredibly traumatic for these kids and there's two parts to it there's that ongoing trauma in the current separation and then there's the aftermath. And the poster Matic stress disorder that will very likely in soup for the majority of the kids. Being separated it is causing. Chronic flight plate freeh's response in these children and that's sort of like what you're seeing in that little boy who is just reunited with his father. He was having a classic freeh's response. He doesn't know how to react his body is sort of shutting down at the reminder of the trauma seeing his father isn't this. Sort of half bees. Relieving situation that we would hope it instead he's confused and overwhelmed and his attachment and relationship to his father his then. Damaged by this traumatic he's been through. You know Alex told us doctor Howard that at the airport that child some way that ten year old boy. Would he solved. A law enforcement officer walked through there he immediately. Just just grabbed on and tried hiding behind people because he was. He was so afraid they goodness that the ice agent who took them on that plane was in plain clothes as those of tolls little bit about that because that at that that's evidence right there. Of some serious trauma. Right absolutely that's actually a symptom of post traumatic stress disorder we tend to avoid people places things situations that remind us of the trauma. In the trauma that happens has gotten paired with the fight flight freeh's response that happens at the time of the trauma. So that other things can go on to trigger that response is seeing the official all that ice agents. Would definitely be an example of something that would trigger that by flight response. And kids who have censored Thomas like this sort of chronic trauma as they have a hard time regulating their bodies and their emotions because and that's because the chronic firing. Stress hormones and chemicals throughout their body. They have a hard times are accurately assessing threats in their constantly on guard hyper vigilant. It really deep creases there of ability to be available to learned to make friends to do the kinds of things that we want kids to be able to do. In these are the long term consequences of the trauma that's going on right now. And you know we hear a lot of people sometimes say. They are in better physical conditions where they are in these shelters. Then in their own homes back in their home country but experts say it doesn't matter how clean the black it's our it doesn't matter how good the food is it doesn't matter that they they have a roof over their head quite frankly that's what the experts are saying because what matters they say is that they are separated from their parents. That's exactly right it's the separation that's the trauma we we don't know exactly what that conditions ire of the detention centers there's some reports that there. Perfectly appropriate but even if they are the separation is incredibly traumatic especially for our younger children toddlers. Preschool age children infants of course. They are reliance on their parents for coping it's the primary and finished only developmentally expected coping strategy for a young child. Contact and looking to a parent to sort of interpret it a scarier confusing situation that's that there therefore that's had children makes sense of the world. And regularly all of their intense emotions and their deprived. Of the one coping strategy that they should did not Mannelly have. There's also reports that they're not being able that that they're not being touched our hunt. And that's really problematic we know from stories from Romanian orphanages that without that kind of physical assurance in contact. Kids really don't do well there there is stress. Chemicals throughout their body are just coursing. And flooding their brain and causing long term damage. We actually know that kids exposed to this kind of chronic trauma have smaller brains than children. Who have not been exposed to trauma so. That this is causing permanent damage to these kids and they really need to be separated as soon as possible tech and dot ongoing trauma and then they can start to recover. With the aftermath. All right doctor Howard we so appreciate your insight think you so much. For joining us we have the opportunity now to go to Capitol Hill we're going there. In Washington congressman Jerry Nadler of New York joins us live now there congressman thank you so much for joining us you've been very outspoken on this issue. Please first tell us your reaction to this executive order. Well the executive order. Doesn't do that much if it's good that it stops the family separation at least that temporarily. And the other hand it's provides for a long term. Detention. Of the entire family in a jail these kids are gonna be in jail for months maybe with their parents. They it still retains the heat. Zero tolerance policy please everybody across the border even with a good claimed the political asylum he would no choice. It's going to be arrested with their families they're going to be kept in jail. It does not give us any guarantee that went in after the family separations. It doesn't do any thing. About reuniting that's when he 300 or so kids have been separated from their families with their families. And it instructs its very general to try to get the courts to remove the existing consent decree that says you can't hold. Families and children in jail more than twenty days so it's it's it's it's it's different but it still terrible. A congressman we know that two bills are headed to the house today on immigration. What do you think will happen in congress they what do you hope out. Both bills I think I I believe will be defeated. I hope they will be that terrible bills their bills that claims to help the dreamers. Don't really help the team is in any measurable way and do terrible things they they. If for example there was the Ryan bill the so called more moderate bill would say to three million people. Hand. A children and Brothers insist as American citizens have been waiting in line for up to twenty years to get into the country would wipe them out. Which would would would eliminate their their their right to come to the country even though they've been waiting for twenty years. It would. Let it terrible things it would eliminate that. Diversity visa program which only. Wait for residents of certain countries. To come to this country it's a small program but it's the only way. Residents in countries to come here it would if they say. Really. In eliminate that it would eliminate the possibility of American citizens bringing their Brothers and sisters. And married to of this country at all that it would greatly reduce family reunification which is no one who should not be room do. That terrible bill I think he'll be defeated and they don't help the dreams you what this really is is saying we want to of these terrible things we've never been able to get the votes in congress. But we'll hold the dreamers hostage analysts and the book and and Stanley separation too. And maybe you'll we'll will be decent things to them if you do these other terrible things but they don't even really help to him. Congressman is that you of reunification. Is really such a big one you know it's usually. Such a hard prof that such a difficult process to reunite these families after going through something like this and now we're talking about more than 23. Hundred children that need to be reunited. With their families it can congress do anything about this to help in that reunification process. We'll congress could prohibit. As my bill does splitting up the families it could mandate as my bill does that. That the department take every step to unify. And it could appropriate some funds to do this right now. They the the administration. Which seems to have. No part whatsoever. No human feelings separated these kids from their parents. With the parents under the custody of ice in the kids in the department of health and human services has no way those two departments to talk to each other know if Jack indicates. We're going to have to now establish a mechanism and a high priority which took us some money to two. To track these kids to find a way they ought to match them with their parents. Two to make sure that none of the parents are deported. While the kids are still. God knows where. Dissident takes some doing. And is no guarantee these bills that it will be done. All right congressman Jerry Nadler joining us live from Capitol Hill a busy day a busy week ahead for you. A congressman thank you so much for joining us. We're gonna turn out to Los Angeles and go to Roberts a paid of air are ABC's Robert to paid a Robert you were actually following migrants out of Guatemala. Back in 2016 UN our colleague got Matt Gutman you were following migrants a tell us a little bit about that experience. Yeah so good morning GO we were you know we had one goal in mind we are doing the story for Nightline in this is back at a time when. You know Donald Trump was already talking about building a wall. And so we you know we started to see an influx of migrants coming evidence that we wanted to see you know put sort of I named to the Faison and see who are these people where they coming from. It was at a time when. You know there it's a very different from the you know the eighty's and ninety's when we were seeing a lot of Mexican migrants coming into the country now we're seeing a lot of Central American migrants and so we. Flew down and drove into Guatemala and we started at a shelter there. We'd made contacts with the different shelters along the way that sort of you know sort of paved the path toward. The US. And so we started a shelter we mats some El Salvador in migrants there. We crossed over the Suu Kyi opt a river. Which is you know at a border. Which is sort of the borderline between Mexico and Guatemala. And it's really interesting when we were there we sort of were shocked to see that you know right next to. The normal you know sort of real border crossing. That you would go through there's actually these makeshift rafts. In of these inner tubes wits with. Planks on top of them and if you hey you know one peso you can get a process. Normally they use this sort of you know back and forth as a way to transport. Goods. So it toilet paper about sort of thing but it also transports people. And so we followed these boys are crops. As they went into Mexico of course we had to go around the legal way and so we tried to catch up with them later. Only to find out that they had been caught I Mexican officials. We're eventually going to be sent back where these boy yet go head. Robert we're actually seeing some of these images right now on those rafts them. Wading through the waters here. Just incredible seeing that at you say that all of those people that you. We're following a all of them were captured. The two people that we were cap that we've sort of followed. First where eventually captured you know we were trying to connect with them they had cellphones. That we were able to sort of spend what's up messages back and forth and tried you know determine where they were so that we can continue following them on their journey. As the sort of went from one shelter to another is migrant shelters are sort of placed all over. Central America and Mexico and you know a lot of them. The are run by religious organizations. So that there you know helping to. At least be down a lot of you know nuns and priests and other churchgoers are donating their time. And resources to to help them along their journey because they realize that the journey is very very difficult it's very dangerous. You know we would see. You know train loads of people on top of the these sort of the roofs of trains as they were. Is going toward America and it's the quickest way for them to get to America but it's also one of the most dangerous ways because on that. On the way bandits. And Arco's would jump on these trains and would rob them for whatever they have with them. Many of them have very little money at a backpack with maybe a toothbrush a few extra clothes and issues that they would take everything from them. And if they didn't have money to pay than Arco's or the or is the bandits that would thwart these trains and they would. Throw them off the train a lot of them would die and so this journey was very difficult for them and so we wanted to follow this journey and we ran into a boyhood. Issue stolen from them. Nominations there boyish it's a young man he was an adult in his early twenties he had issues stolen from him and he was walking around with a blister about the size. Of a dollar bill honest but I mean. In southern Mexico I I assume that there would be no way he would even make it to America without getting it. A terrible infection in his flat. And yet these people still felt like. The journey the dangers during that they were taking what's still. Less dangerous than living in the country is that they were coming from Honduras El Salvador and Guatemala. That's striking two to hear that they considered that to be less dangerous than what they relating through Robertson paid a thank you so much for joining us. From Los Angeles we're actually gonna stay. In California we're gonna go down to it got a hole in California that is were ABC's Morse to consult as joins us live from and Marcy you were actually in front. Other shelters that felt seltzer with some of those kids a lot of these stories have on you. Obviously been focused on the Texas border because it is the largest border in the south but this is happening all across the southern port. That's right deal and it's not just across the border even the Department of Health and Human Services says there about a hundred shelters. Across the country in seventeen different states we heard from. Wanting yesterday says she was detained at the border and then sent to a facility in Seattle. Only to learn that her eight year old son ended up at a facility in upstate New York there isn't a more at a concentration though of their shelters here along the border were about 25 miles away. From the Mexican border and this is one of three shelters just in this area. Yet and that what are you noticing about that particular shelter right now it's. Here it's pretty not just hypocrite if you look here it is. Here goes. About halfway down blocking the just can't beat the other side because of this park they have here. There's a geek here there's no real finances but no trespassing signs seen this day opening clothing throughout the morning the other side this one story building in this. Is an area that is it's been a business district so across the street there's a stereo store there is motel. I can keep driving past may not even realize that this is shelter. Right here in this area but this every here Bob long. Knew what was going on here he's at he's been watching the news. What is happening with this immigration issue he says he was so touched that he started coming out your work five days ago. Holding up this sign reunite all families is another sign there that says violence. Is violence I he's getting honks from cars that are driving captain he's trying to opt to employees as they come in just asking them. To take care of the kids who were inside our affiliate reports that there are 63. Boys who are living in this facility the affiliate says that most of them. Came into this country by themselves but about 10% of them were taken from their. Parents of the border GL. And Marcy there's actually a family in California that really got done an unbelievable thing on FaceBook they actually opened up this FaceBook campaign and in just Three Days Grace three point six million dollars 84000. People actually contributed to that FaceBook campaign. And we're seeing that number rise and rise people just keep throwing money at this because they want to help these organizations that are helping these migrant families. Right it's incredible there's one in particular they set out trying to raise 15100 dollars. Either they were so moved by that that one image of of the toddler the girl standing by her mother and grandmother was detained and they said. That image reminded them of their own two year old city decided there was they needed to do something to help so they set out started this FaceBook campaign hoping to raise 15100 dollars. Just help one family was the goal to help paper bonds and toward legal services. But in this just expanded so much they are now up to more than sixteen million dollars raised so far at one point. It at 101000 dollars in donations were coming in. Every minute and we're seeing that number continued to grow more and more people just wanting to help out with this issue in any way they can. All right Martha Gonzales. Joining us live from El Cajon California Marcy thank you so much and thank you to all of our correspondents and experts joining us on this special edition of ABC news live crisis on the border we of course will keep following this story covering it for you on ABC world news tonight with David Norton Nightline and Good Morning America we will stay on this story for now aren't GO but he does here. On the US Mexico border mixture to log on ought to abcnews.com. And of course the ABC news that we will keep updating and keep broadcasting here. On ABC news slot thanks so much for joining us and we'll see you next time.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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