Stories 'hit hard': Officer on migrants' harrowing journey

The Biden administration allowed several reporters to interview border officials and tour a crowded migrant processing facility in Donna, Texas, on Tuesday following growing demands from news outlets for more access. The footage was shared with Reuters and other outlets.

The Donna facility is holding 4,100 migrants, most of whom are unaccompanied minors, according to a pool report, four times its pre-COVID capacity.

During the tour of the Donna facility, Escamilla described some of the stories he's been told by children.

"About a month and a half ago, I was back here talking to one of the little girls, you know, and I told the congressional delegation just the same thing," he said. "We were going to send her to the hospital. And as I got closer to her, I noticed that she couldn't speak. And I asked the medical staff what happened. And she's the reason she was one of the hospital because she had gotten gangrene. And the reason that she couldn't speak was because she had lost her voice in the process while she was getting raped. Those things hit hard."

The new video was released U.S. border official said on Tuesday (March 30) he expects more than a million migrants will arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border this year, a sign of a growing humanitarian challenge for President Joe Biden on the southwest border.

Video Transcript

ESCAMILLA: About a month and a half ago, I was back here talking to one of the little girls, you know, and I told the congressional delegation the same thing, right. We were going to send her to the hospital. And as I got close to her, I noticed that she couldn't speak. And I asked the medical staff what happened.

And the reason she was going to the hospital, because she had gotten gang raped. And the reason that she couldn't speak was because she had lost her voice in the process while she was getting raped. Those things hit hard.

These kids cross by themselves. Obviously, the parent pays a fee to the smuggler. The cartel member or the smuggler, at this point will bring the kid over, will bring him to the river, will hand him over to the raft. Will place him in a raft and say, OK, go.

When you get to the other side, they'll explain to them there's going to be an officer. They'll explain what we wear, and tell them turn yourselves in to them. These kids, some of them, will tell you the different stories.

They'll tell you that they don't have their parents. There's a little girl that I talked to a little while ago. She said that she had lost her mom, and that she doesn't have a father. So she's coming into this country, because her uncle is going to be the sponsor.

So this little girl is going into the states. And I asked her what state are you going to? What's your final destination? She said, I don't know. All I know is that it snows there. That's all I know.