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U.S. Border Patrol
A grim wait for migrants at Border Patrol station in McAllen, Texas
A grim wait for migrants at Border Patrol station in McAllen, Texas

The cells at the U.S. Border Patrol station were once again full, the air fetid with body odor. Women clutched babies in diapers, boys crowded the cell windows, and men were splayed shoulder to shoulder across the floors. That's an improvement compared with recent weeks. The station, which has become a frequent stop for politicians visiting the Rio Grande Valley to survey the ongoing U.S.-Mexico border crisis, drew criticism in recent months after photographs were leaked of overcrowded cells. But the still images go only so far in capturing the place — the institutional coldness, the monotony, the despair. This week, officials allowed reporters and a Times photographer...

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