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In pictures: The Trump administration's 'zero tolerance' immigration policy that's separating families

U.S. Border Patrol agents take into custody a father and son from Honduras near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12, 2018 near Mission, Texas.
John Moore | Getty Images

A new Trump administration policy to prosecute everyone who crosses into the United States illegally has resulted in thousands of children being separated from their families.

The so-called zero tolerance policy has been criticized by religious groups and medical organizations, with experts saying children could face long-lasting trauma.

President Donald Trump has blamed Democrats for the policy of separating families, with no grounds for such a claim, while others in his administration, including White House chief of staff John Kelly, have called the policy a strong deterrent against illegal immigration.

A processing center in McAllen, Texas

Inside the Rio Grande Valley Sector's Centralized Processing Center in McAllen, TX
Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

This 77,000-square-foot facility, known as Ursula, is the nation's largest immigration processing center.

Children sleeping on the floor 

Inside the Rio Grande Valley Sector's Centralized Processing Center in McAllen, TX
Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

The facility houses hundreds of children, who sleep on mattresses on the concrete floor. Their blankets are Mylar.

Held in wire cages

Inside the Rio Grande Valley Sector's Centralized Processing Center in McAllen, Texas
Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

According to NBC News, which visited the facility, only four social workers were available to care for the hundreds of children held in the facility's wire enclosures.

Almost 1,500 boys

Occupants at Casa Padre, an immigrant shelter for unaccompanied minors, in Brownsville, Texas, U.S., are seen in this photo provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, June 14, 2018.
ACF | HHS | Reuters

The Casa Padre facility in Brownsville, Texas, used to be a Walmart and now houses almost 1,500 boys ages 10 to 17.

No doors or ceilings

Occupants at Casa Padre, an immigrant shelter for unaccompanied minors, in Brownsville, Texas, U.S., are seen in this photo provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, June 14, 2018.
ACF | HHS | Reuters

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., was denied access to Casa Padre on June 3. The complex's more than 300 rooms lack doors and ceilings, according to CNN.

Child separated from her mother

A two-year-old Honduran asylum seeker cries as her mother is searched and detained near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12, 2018 in McAllen, Texas.
Getty Images

A 2-year-old cries while her mom, who is seeking asylum, is searched near the U.S-Mexico border.

A child seeks asylum

Central American asylum seekers wait as U.S. Border Patrol agents take them into custody on June 12, 2018 near McAllen, Texas.
Getty Images

The U.S. government could hold as many as 30,000 migrant children by August, according to The Washington Examiner, which cited government officials.

Asylum-seekers taken into custody

Central American asylum seekers wait as U.S. Border Patrol agents take groups of them into custody on June 12, 2018 near McAllen, Texas.
Getty Images

Asylum-seekers from Central America are taken into custody by border patrol agents near McAllen.

Tent City 

Migrant children, many of whom have been separated from their parents under the "zero tolerance" policy by the Trump administration, are being housed in tents next to the Mexican border in Tornillo, Texas, U.S. June 18, 2018.
Mike Blake | Reuters

Immigrant children are being housed in tents next to the Mexican border in Tornillo, Texas.

Inside the tents

The inside of a dormitory at the Tornillo facility, a shelter for children of detained migrants, is seen in this photo provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in Tornillo, Texas, U.S., June 14, 2018.
ACF | HHS | Reuters

The inside of a dormitory at the Tornillo facility, a shelter for children of detained migrants, is seen in this photo provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in Tornillo, Texas.