Breitbart Texas, a politics and opinion website, gained access to shocking images of the overcrowded holding areas where undocumented immigrants are being held by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Texas.
The pictures have a May 27, 2014 time stamp and were reportedly snapped at a U.S. Border Patrol facility in the Rio Grande Valley. The conservative website posted the pictures on Thursday, saying only they were provided by the federal government.
The leaked photos show many of the detainees are unaccompanied minors, boys and girls under 12 years old.
The photos are the latest illustration of how a wave of immigrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala has overwhelmed U.S. border authorities.
The overcrowding appears to be a result of two trends in recent months: More undocumented immigrants are attempting to cross into the United States in Texas as opposed to Arizona and California, and also a large increase in the number of children trying to enter the U.S. without a parent or guardian.
Immigration officials, by policy, do not keep children in detention. They are transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement to be housed in shelters until they can be reunited with parents or guardians.
Last week, President Barack Obama described the surge of immigrant children, most of them coming from Central America, as an "urgent humanitarian situation." The White House asked Congress for an extra $1.4 billion to help house, feed and transport children and plans to temporarily house more than 1,000 at military bases in Ventura, California; San Antonio, Texas; and Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
It also said it was starting a program to provide lawyers for children facing deportation.
The overcrowding situation prompted the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to begin a radical busing program. Beginning on Memorial Day weekend, DHS began dropping off hundreds of undocumented immigrants at bus stations in Arizona.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer called it “dangerous and unconscionable” in a letter to President Obama, while Masavi Perea, a business representative for the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades in Phoenix, which has been providing humanitarian assistance to the relocated immigrants, told Fox News Latino, “That’s not a very humane way to treat human beings.”
About the photos of the overcrowded cells in Texas, Breitbart Texas contributing editor Sylvia Longmire told Brandon Darby, "Given the deteriorating security and economic conditions in the Central American countries where most of these children and adult immigrants came from, it's hard to understand how DHS didn't see this coming.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.