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Leaked photos put face on border crisis

Detainees in a Customs and Border Protection temporary overflow facility in Donna, Texas. Associated Press/Office of Congressman Henry Cuellar

Leaked photos put face on border crisis

A Biden administration official headed to Mexico on Monday to work with officials there on a plan to manage the growing migration surge. White House envoys also planned to visit Guatemala to seek to address the causes that lead people there to trek through Mexico to the U.S. southern border. Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, released photos of a Border Patrol holding facility where more than 1,000 migrants, many of them unaccompanied minors, are living in overcrowded tents and sleeping under foil blankets on floor mats in small groups separated by plastic sheeting.

How is the administration handling the surge? Cuellar said he released the photos because the U.S. government has refused to let reporters examine the migrant holding sites. Some nonprofit lawyers also say Border Patrol has denied them access to detained migrants. The surge at the border appears to have caught the administration off-guard, and both Republicans and Democrats in Congress are calling on President Joe Biden to improve conditions for detainees. “We ought to take care of those kids like they’re our own kids,” Cuellar said.

Dig deeper: Read Sophia Lee’s report on a Salvadoran family who traveled to the U.S. southern border with a migrant caravan.

Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital's managing editor. She is a graduate of World Journalism Institute, the Missouri School of Journalism, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Lynde resides with her family in Wichita, Kansas.



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not silent

I do not blame all Cubans. I'm just sharing my personal experiences. 

In Arizona I have felt Mexican/Natives are very nice people. (I say natives because some or many are from tribes.) But many Cubans I experienced in Fla. were snobs. My brother married a Cuban. Very nice person. She said she was embarrassed for her people. (I'm not politically correct, and I don't intend to be mean about what I say. It's just my experience.) The Cuban kids in H.S. told us how rich they were in Cuba. Cuba is beautiful. Miami is ugly. We were beneath them. (Hence the banana boat mantra in H.S.) Meanwhile their parents were getting FREE food and money. They opened bodegas with our tax money and eventually took over Miami. 


Unless you have been molested, you cannot know what it feels like. So please don't tell me they aren't ALL like that. I know that. 

I find that many men don't understand that many women can't just "get over it" and "move on". A person can forgive, but how does one forget. As in many memories, you can put them on a shelf, but there are things that bring memories forward, good and bad. I guess in a sense I have moved on because I don't stay in the past. I have a life with a husband and daughter. There is a lot of laughter in our home because God is here with us. 

I don't fear dying, I would just like to die peacefully. Meanwhile, I pray our daughter never has to have any personal experience. 

not silent

For Uff Da, I think you may be right in some cases.  But I think it's more complicated than a simple either-or: either "certain death" OR "seeking better economic conditions." For one thing, if someone is in a bad enough economic condition that they have no money and can't buy food, they will eventually face certain death. Here in the US, there are some shelters and food pantries; and a person might find food in a dumpster if they were desperate enough. (Please note that I'm not saying or implying that those things meet all the needs of our own poor people, because it's far from ideal to seek food in a dumpster.)   But there are countries with no dumpsters containing food and very few food pantries. 

For another thing, in some countries cartels or other criminal enterprises have a lot of power; and they may threaten anyone who does not cooperate with them. Families may be forced to choose between cooperating with a cartel or gang or starving, not to mention fears of being tortured or killed. It's not just a problem for locals, either. An American I knew who lived in Mexico for years and loved the country and the people ultimately had to leave because it became so dangerous.  (What convinced them of the danger was that someone found several bodies hanging from a bridge in a nearby town.)  And please note that it was not the average people in Mexico who were doing these things.  Most of those people just wanted to live their lives in peace and take care of their families. But one reason migrants "pass through" Mexico is that they feel it's safer here in the US.

I doubt my comment covers nearly all the issues faced by migrants who come to the US and seek asylum.  It's an extremely complicated issue.  However, despite our own corruption, injustice, and poverty, our system is still better than many other places.    

not silent

For NEWS2ME:  Unfortuantely, I DO know what it's like to be molested. It is BECAUSE of my own experiences that I know about PTSD and how it can affect a person's perceptions and feelings about self and others even without that person realizing it.  You may not have been affected that way, but I was, and I didn't realize it until began dealing with the flashbacks I was having.  

It sounds as if you have had many difficult experiences, and I'm sorry.  My comment was not intended to cause additional distress, make inaccurate suggestions about you, or imply that you must be dealing with exactly the same things I've had to deal with-it was meant to be a general comment made in light of my own experiencs.  Thanks for clarifying your feelings; and, again, I wish you God's blessings, healing, comfort, and protection.


The photo with this article is tame compared to what Project Veritas obtained: “never-before-seen photographs of what it actually looks like inside this facility: shocking images showing people wrapped up in what looks like metal foil, laying on the ground, their faces covered.” Compare the photos with an ad for safe-seal system mass-fatality pack body bags.

not silent

I am very sorry you had that terrible experience, NEWS2ME.  I had not yet moved to Florida when the mass immigration came from Cuba; but I've heard that the Cuban government tried to make sure the people who came were those it considered "undesirable." What happened to you is terrible, and I would never want to minimize the impacts it may have had on you; but I'm sure you realize that the fact that those people did something terrible to you does not mean that everyone who came to the US from Cuba (or immigrants in general) are all like your abusers. 

Ironically, Cubans in South Florida are now viewed as a reliably conservative voting block.  In fact, they probably helped Mr. Trump win the state of Florida in the 2020 election. Most of the people I know with Cuban ancestry are pro life and a great deal more conservative than I am. 

For what it's worth, you are not the only person I know who was molested by the children of immigrants, though the main case I know about involved immigrants from a different country (i.e., not from Cuba).  Unfortunately, I know a lot of people who were molested; and I've heard some terrible stories.  Most of the people I know were molested by someone in their own family who was born in the US, and a disturbing number were abused by someone in their chuch. 

Abuse is terrible and damaging regardless of who does it.  I pray God grants you healing and peace and for his Spirit to watch over you and protect you in these frightening times.       

Tim Miller

It is heartbreaking. And a huge failure on the part of the Biden administration. I'm not a fan of Trump's immigration rhetoric, but Biden's unilateral rollback of his policies without considering the likely response was a disaster.


The “photos of a Border Patrol holding facility” are part of a longer report by Project Veritas. (In some of the photos, are the young people dead?) 

A source reached out to Project Veritas and explained the conditions that these migrants face on a regular basis while detained at this facility. “These photos were taken within the last few days. There are eight pods with eight cells each in the facility. At any given moment there are an average of 3,000 people in custody here,” the source said. “They [illegal immigrants] are separated by age or physical size depending on room. Fifty were COVID positive in these cells over the last few days. There have been multiple sexual assaults, normal assaults and daily medical emergencies,” they said.