Texas border patrol facility severely overcrowded with migrant children

Migrant children are separated into eight pods, with up to 600 people in each, in an overcrowded border patrol facility in Donna, Texas. The facility is only meant to hold 250 people in total.
2:33 | 03/30/21

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Transcript for Texas border patrol facility severely overcrowded with migrant children
Meantime tonight, the first time a journalist's camera was allowed into that crowded facility at the southern border in Donna, Texas. Nearly 18,000 unaccompanied minors are in U.S. Custody. The new images from inside tonight. One pool camera, as it's called, let in for the first time. Children screened and processed by border patrol before they are sent to shelters run by health and human services. Tonight here, the statement from the secretary of homeland security on what we're now seeing. ABC's Rachel Scott on the border tonight. Reporter: Tonight, inside the severely overcrowded border patrol facility in Donna, Texas, where migrant children and teens are being held. Inside, rows of kids packed shoulder to shoulder laying on mats under foil blankets. The children separated into eight pods. Up to 600 in each, no room to move inside. One little girl wiping tears from her eyes through a plastic divider. This facility is only meant to hold 250 during the pandemic -- but there were more than 4,100 people here. And some 3,400 are minors. Our facilities were never designed to hold people for longer than a couple of days, much less eight or nine days, which we've seen on occasion. Reporter: And outside today, hundreds more waiting to get in. Benches crowded with children, others ushered along in a single file line. This is the first time the Biden administration has allowed a press camera inside this facility. And just miles away, border patrol coming across one group of migrants after another. This mother carrying a 2-month-old baby, emotional, saying she came from Guatemala fleeing poverty and violence. Authorities are finding up to 400 children a day. And roughly 18,000 are already in U.S. Custody -- a near record. Every facility we have along the southwest border is over capacity right now. Just yesterday, we had over 10,000 people in border patrol custody. That's much higher, especially under covid constraints, than any facility should have. Reporter: And David, you saw those images of the overcrowding in the facility behind me. Already several dozen migrants have tested positive for covid-19. Tonight, the department of homeland security is responding. Secretary mayorkas saying the border patrol facilities are no place for children. He says they are making progress, but that it is going to take time. And tonight, he is reiterating the administration's message that the border is closed, but David, we've been out there at the border and migrants are still crossing, David. Rachel Scott, thank you. Overseas tonight, late word

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

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