WRUR 88.5 Different Radio

John Burnett

Updated at 7:28 p.m. ET

Casa Padre is a former Walmart Super Center converted into living, recreation and dining quarters for 1,469 immigrant boys, ages 10 to 17. Located in Brownsville, Texas, across from a pizza joint and a McDonald's, it is the largest government-contracted youth shelter in the country. On Wednesday, reporters were allowed a rare glimpse inside.

The sprawling shelter was opened in March 2017 by the Texas nonprofit Southwest Key.

Three young Guatemalan women went on trial this week at the red-rock federal courthouse in Alpine, Texas. It's about 70 miles from the spot in the border town of Presidio where they waded across the Rio Grande three weeks ago, with their eight- and nine-year-old sons in tow.

One of the women, Emilia Figueroa, testified during the trial that she believed if she brought her boy with her, the two of them would be released to live in the United States until their immigration court date.

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White House chief of staff John Kelly struck a nerve when he told NPR that many undocumented immigrants who come to the U.S. don't assimilate well because they are rural, lack education and don't speak English.

Within hours of the interview last week, the Internet and cable news lit up. Conservatives who applaud President Trump's immigration clampdown gave Kelly kudos; immigrant advocates branded it a racist rant.

The number of immigrants illegally crossing the southern border plummeted when Donald Trump took office. But the number is again on the rise. In response, the president plans to deploy up to 4,000 National Guard troops.

In West Texas, immigrant shelters are overflowing with recent arrivals and some migrants are trying more dangerous routes to evade capture.

The intake room at Annunciation House, an immigrant shelter in downtown El Paso, is packed these days. Parents and squirming children sit with their travel bags. They are the aggravations of Donald Trump.

Over the past three weeks, Austin watched in horror as a methodical madman detonated one shrapnel bomb after another in this seeming laid-back oasis. An unemployed 23-year-old loner killed two people and injured four others, before blowing himself up early the morning of March 21 as police closed in.

As an army of federal investigators packed up and left town, the city's quirky civic slogan, "Keep Austin Weird," took a blow.

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