Crisis at the border

Nearly 12,000 children are in U.S. government custody because of the "zero tolerance" policy.
4:01 | 06/19/18

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Transcript for Crisis at the border
And we begin with the breaking news, the tense battle over what's happening on the American border, and the president arriving on capitol hill late today. The president and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle not hearing from Americans across this country, reacting to images like these, the tents, the defense centers where children are now being held. President trump arriving on capitol hill late today. Republican senators have reportedly come up with a bill that they believe would end this swiftly. But will the president go along with it? Tonight, more than 2,000 children separated in just the last month or so, and this evening, we learned some of those parents have been sent home but their children are still here in the U.S., in those detention centers. What the president said just moments ago, and the scene from Texas tonight. ABC's gio Benitez, leading us off. Reporter: Tonight, from the sky, a sweeping view of the isolated Texas tent city hundreds of migrant children now call home. In these images, you can see some of them walking single file through the camp. They sleep in tents like these, at least 20 beds packed in. Tonight, customs and border protection telling ABC news that in just a month, more than 2,300 migrant children have been separated from their parents. Fox News host Laura Ingram drawing outrage by comparing the detention facilities to summer camps. Since more illegal immigrants are rushing the border, more kids are being separated from their parents and temporarily housed in what are essentially summer camps. Reporter: The trump administration tightly controlling the images coming out of the centers where many of them are being held. The metal cages, the children sprawled on thin mattresses, huddling under Mylar sheets. Propublica obtaining this audio recording, which it says captures their frightened cries. Children begging for their relatives. According to the department of health and human services, children find themselves separated from their parents an average of 57 days. But for some kids, it's a lot longer. This Michigan couple fosters a 10-year-old boy who has been living with them since he was separated from his father eight months ago. His father was taken away in what he described as handcuffs behind his back and our boy was then detained for 24 hours in a detention facility. But when he came to us, he was extraordinarily fearful. He was afraid to eat, he was afraid to look. His clothes were soiled. He wouldn't use the bathroom. Reporter: His father has been deported back to Guatemala. But the boy is still here in the United States. Separated from his parents, able to speak to his mother only by phone. He was overcome. He couldn't talk, he was crying so hard that he was almost to the point of being sick. Reporter: The trump administration says this could all be avoided if parents seek asylum legally at a port of entry. But those places filling up fast. Here in Mexico, this is the walk that migrant families take to seek asylum. But we're told, once they reach the United States on the other side, they're turned right back around. In Texas, scenes like this -- We're not discouraging people from entering, we just can not at this time. Reporter: Families being turned away -- no room. Gio Ben ne tease live tonight from Texas, just outside that detention facility, and gio, we're hearing so many stories like the one you just reported there, that little boy's father has now been deported back to Guatemala, but his son is still here in the U.S.? Reporter: That's right, David. They say that little boy was afraid to eat, that he was traumatized after seeing his father taken away in those handcuffs. And that's really what child advocates worry about here. David? Gio Benitez leading us off. Thank you. As I mentioned a moment ago,

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

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