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1,500 Boys ‘Incarcerated' at Southwest Key Immigration Facility

BROWNSVILLE, Texas - The federal government invited national media to tour one of its facilities, Southwest Key Programs, that houses unaccompanied minors in Brownsville. 

This comes after a U.S. Senator was denied entry the facility. 

Founder and CEO of the nonprofit, Juan Sanchez, said only national media was invited, and declined an interview.

NBC Correspondent, Jacob Soboroff, was allowed and shared what it was like.

“I’ve been in federal prison before and county jails, these kids are incarcerated,”Soboroff said after the hour long tour. 

“They are not in cells they’re free to walk around, but they’re allowed outside for two hours a day and they’re in an old Walmart for 22 hours a day. They go to the chow line like you would in a prison,

they get recreation time like you would when you’re incarcerated,” he said.

“A phone call or two a day like you’re incarcerated, everything is dictated on a schedule. They get to go to school, it’s not dirty, the conditions are not bad inside, but they are incarcerated,” he said. 

There are 1,500 boys in the shelter from ages 10 to 17, 70% who came to the United States on their own.

There is a mural of Donald Trump when you walk in, with the quote, “Sometimes losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.”

Presidential murals are everywhere, but Trump’s is first.

On social media, a former Southwest Key employee said murals are listed from first to last. 

There are no cells and cages, but they are in custody.


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