Families Divided

The Trump administration's “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which led to the separation of children from adults who crossed the border illegally, has fueled a national outcry. Sign up for our ongoing coverage. Send story ideas to tips@texastribune.org.

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The Texas Tribune's reporting on the Families Divided project is supported by the Pulitzer Center, which will also help bring discussions on this important topic to schools and universities in Texas and across the United States through its K-12 and Campus Consortium networks.

Cells so cold she got headaches. Nights spent sleeping on mats with foil blankets. The sound of mothers weeping after being separated from their children.

That's how Yulissa Pacheco, 24, described the four nights she and her son spent inside a border detention center in McAllen.

She said she knew the chance she was taking when she fled Honduras for the United States.

“I was watching the news on TV before I left my house and I heard they were separating the children,” she said.

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But she said she still ventured north with her 4-year-old in hopes of being reunited with her older son and the boys’ father in North Carolina. Officials kept the pair together, but her aunt was separated from her 15-year-old son.

Authorities released Pacheco and her son on June 30 with an ankle monitor strapped to her leg to ensure she shows up to court on July 11.

Watch the video above as she details her experience inside a detention center.