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

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Immigration

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

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

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

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

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

    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.

    Inside the Rio Grande Valley Sector's Centralized Processing Center in McAllen, Texas
    Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • Almost 1,500 boys

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

    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
  • No doors or ceilings

    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.

    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
  • Child separated from her mother

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

    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 child seeks asylum

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

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

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

    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
  • Tent City 

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

    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
  • 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.

    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