Ursula (detention center)

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Separated family members detained in cages
Detained children lying on matresses within a caged area
Photos provided by Custom and Border Protection to reporter on tour of Ursala detention facility in McAllen, Texas. Reporters were not allowed to take their own photos.

Ursula is the colloquial name of the largest U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention center for undocumented immigrants. It was opened in 2014 on W. Ursula Avenue in McAllen, Texas. In June 2018, it gained notoriety for the practice of keeping children in large cages made of chain-link fencing.[1][2]


The center, better known as "Ursula," is the largest immigration processing and detention center run by the Border Patrol and the Customs and Border Protection Agency.[1] The detention and processing center was opened in 2014 at 3700 W. Ursula Avenue in McAllen, Texas.[3] The facility is made from a former warehouse which was leased by the federal government and modified to be able to hold 1,000 children.[3] Children are kept in cages made of chain-link fencing inside of the 77,000 square-foot warehouse.[3][1]

Minors who arrive at the Mexico–United States border unaccompanied or who have been separated from their families are supposed to only stay in this type of processing center for under 72 hours.[1] After processing, minors are sent to facilities run by the Department of Health and Human Services.[2] The facility also houses adults and individuals are separated based on how they crossed into the United States.[4]

Filming or photography is not allowed inside of the facility.[1] During the weekend of June 16, 2018, reporters were allowed to tour the facility (without cameras).[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Ryan, Lisa (18 June 2018). "Inside 3 Detention Centers Where Immigrant Children Are Kept From Their Parents". The Cut. Archived from the original on 18 June 2018. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  2. ^ a b Frej, Willa (2018-06-18). "These Are The Texas Immigration Center Photos Stirring Anti-Trump Outrage". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 18 June 2018. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  3. ^ a b c Findell, Elizabeth (17 July 2014). "Border Patrol opens central processing facility for unaccompanied kids". The Monitor. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  4. ^ Begnaud, David (18 June 2018). "Inside the Texas facility housing hundreds of illegal immigrants". CBS News. Archived from the original on 18 June 2018. Retrieved 2018-06-19.
  5. ^ Ciechalski, Suzanne (18 June 2018). "Kids in Cages With Mylar Blankets in Texas Border Facility". NBC Chicago. Archived from the original on 18 June 2018. Retrieved 2018-06-18.

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Coordinates: 26°09′32″N 98°16′13″W / 26.1590°N 98.2703°W / 26.1590; -98.2703