What it's like inside former superstore in Texas where the US is holding 1,400 immigrant children

By CNN
CNN

BROWNSVILLE, Texas - The Casa Padre Shelter in Brownsville, Texas is a 250,000 square-foot former Walmart near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Nearly 1,500 boys, ages 10 to 17, are housed inside.

The federal government opened it up for a tightly controlled media visit Wednesday.

The tour came after Sen. Jeff Merkley was turned away when he tried to visit the facility earlier this month.

Merkley's visit was motivated by concerns about detention of undocumented minors.

Some crossed into the U.S. unaccompanied, and others were separated from their families.

Merkley linked his concerns to "zero-tolerance" border policies calling for taking away children and prosecuting parents who cross the border with them illegally.

The conditions at the facility appear clean, but crowded.

It's not clear how much of the crowding is due to the family separation policy.

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