More than 2,600 kids were separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border under President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” family separation policy. What happened to those children? Reveal’s investigative reporting team looked at facilities across the country to answer that question.

After being separated from their parents at the border, some of the children were held in office buildings operated by a company without a child care license. This is the story of a child who stayed in those offices.

This is one of many stories of migrant children who have spent time in federal custody without a parent. Nearly 15,000 unaccompanied minors currently are detained in the U.S.; they’re held in places ranging from tent cities to trailers and shelters, some of which have a history of mistreatment, including forced drugging, sexual assault and physical abuse.

Credit: Brian Britigan for Reveal

Seventy-one companies receive funds from the federal government to house and supervise unaccompanied minors. Nearly half of the $3.4 billion paid to the companies in the last four years went to places with serious allegations of mistreating children.


See for yourself where the children have been housed. Click on the red dots for information on the shelters.

Sources: Reveal analysis of records released by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, updated with information from The Texas Tribune, other news media reports and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.


Explore extensive written coverage of family separation in Reveal’s “Kids on the Line” series



Meet the real-life Wilson and Tonita in our co-production with PBS NewsHour.

Stay on this story with us as it continues to unfold. Subscribe to our Kids on the Line newsletter for updates and info.

Illustrations by Brian Britigan for Reveal. Interactive web design by Michael I Schiller & Gabriel Hongsdusit.

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