Texas site chosen as temporary shelter for unaccompanied children

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Kennedy and O'Rourke spoke to officials who were staffing the tent city facility in Tornillo, but were denied entry to inspect it.

For the first time since the Trump administration announced its "zero-tolerance" policy on illegal immigration, a small group of journalists was allowed into the country's largest licensed shelter for undocumented children.

Thousands of protesters chanted and held signs Sunday, demanding the Trump administration stops separating children from their parents at the border.

Outrage over the policy has grown, with Trump attempting to distance himself from the separations, falsely claiming that Democrats - who are in the minority in both houses of Congress - are to blame for his own policy.

O'Rourke told CNN's Jake Tapper that the process of taking children from their parents is "inhumane".

Homeland Security opened the Tornillo-Guadalupe Temporary Holding Center in 2016 to house families and unaccompanied minors, but the facility shut down after a few months.

The teen boys began arriving Friday.

Ninety percent of the residents at Casa Padre traveled to the United States alone seeking protection; the remainder were separated from their families at the border under a controversial new policy by the Trump administration. The Tornillo site will be the only location, to date, where HHS plans to put children in tents, or what the agency calls "semi-permanent structures". Will Hurd, R-Texas. About 1,500 boys aged 10 to 17 now call it home.

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"There are 20 kids per tent, there's two adults in the room", he added.

"This is a symptom of a flawed strategy and in the land of the free and home of the fearless we shouldn't use kids as deterrence", said Hurd, who represents a vast border district that includes the port of entry.

"I am not convinced at this point that housing them in our military installations is the best short-term answer, especially if it harms regular base operations, crowds our servicemembers and distracts from the mission of defense", he said.

Immigrant children traveling alone or separated from relatives can be held by authorities under USA rules.

Jaclyn Allotta brought her two children to protest Sunday.

Kennedy said he'll take his experience from the border and share with representatives in Washington. "It's hard for me to understand a worse betrayal of American values than that".

Despite a number of requests, CBS News is not being allowed inside - not even near the perimeter of the facility.

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