Jacqueline and her two kids sit at a bus station in Brownsville, Texas, hours after being released from Border Patrol custody on April 30, 2021. A few days earlier, the family, from Guatemala, crossed the Rio Grande river into the U.S., where they gave themselves up to federal officers and requested asylum.
"I don't know what day or what time it is," Jacqueline told CBS News."You couldn't tell night from day in the facility. I'm not sure how long I was in there for."
Angelica and Dylan
Nine-year-old Angelica entertains her little brother while her mother deals with paperwork and arranges for bus tickets to North Carolina. They will stay with relatives until a judge makes a decision in their family's asylum case.
Angelica and Dylan
Jacqueline is a single mother. She said her husband left her and their children, moved to Houston and started a new family while she was pregnant with their son.
"I'm all they have. In Guatemala, women aren't valued and men face daily gang violence. I want better for my children," Jacqueline told CBS News days after crossing into the U.S.
Yenny, Mario and Fabian
Mario, Yenny and their 2-year-old son Fabian were living a modest but peaceful life in Honduras — until, Mario said, his family started receiving death threats from gangs. The couple said that while their 20-day-long journey to the United States was perilous, their family was one of the lucky ones.
"The situation in Honduras was worse for us than the risks we faced by undertaking this journey. It hasn't been easy. But we'd do anything for our child."
Two young children from Central America play together at a bus station in Brownsville, Texas, where U.S. Border Patrol agents dropped them off after releasing them and their families on April 26. U.S. immigration authorities are now releasing many families from detention, as they await their asylum hearings.
Elmer and Stacy
Hours after being released from immigration custody for illegally crossing the Rio Grande, Elmer and his daughter Stacy sat at a Catholic Charities site in McAllen, Texas. There, they had been provided new clothes and toiletries following their journey from Nicaragua.
After testing positive for COVID-19, Elmer's wife was sent to a nearby hotel to quarantine, and he didn't know when the family would be able to reunite.
"She keeps asking for her mom," he said of their young daughter. "The trip was rough. She's been through a lot. She just wants her mom."
The Velasquez family's six-week journey started in Guatemala. They said they decided to come to the U.S. because their daughter had been severely sick back home and they could not afford to pay for her medical expenses. They said staying in Guatemala meant she could die.
"Reaching the U.S. has been a nightmare. We suffered a lot. We rode in a small open boat during a storm for six hours. We were soaked. The kids were crying, sick, exhausted," the mother, Yeyli Velasquez, told CBS News.
"At that point, I broke down. I was ready to give up. But my husband reminded me why we're doing this: So our children can get an education. So they can get a shot at a better life," she added.
Honduran mother and baby
One mother at the Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley Humanitarian Respite Center carried her baby as she waited in line for fresh clothes, following a month-long journey from Honduras
A migrant woman holds the hand of her young son as she waits for assistance inside the Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas. She is holding a manila envelope the nonprofit gives asylum-seekers that asks passersby to help them during their travels to their final destinations inside the U.S.
Team Brownsville, a nonprofit based at the Brownsville, Texas bus station, provides a Central American child with fresh clothes, toiletries and toys shortly after she and her mother were released from immigration detention.
The mother and daughter were wearing the same gray outfit they had received at the detention center.
Clothing items near the southern Texas border can be seen on the ground, evidence of migrants who have recently crossed.