Super-Depressing Drawings by Kids at the South Texas Immigration Detention Facility

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

“What was the raid like for you?”

This was the question posed to children ages three to 16 who are currently being held at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, located about an hour southwest of San Antonio in Frio County. The 2,400-person-capacity immigration detention facility, headed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement but run by a for-profit prison contractor, is the largest in the country.

“Without speaking for them or putting words in their mouths, we asked the kids to draw their feelings about how they felt during the raid, and about the threat of ICE,” says Mohammad Abdollahi of RAICES, a San Antonio-based nonprofit that helps coordinate pro-bono legal representation for women and children detained at the immigration lockup in Dilley

The drawings provided to the Houston Press by Abdollahi were created by children whose countries of origin are El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

“Some wrote a narrative in English, which means they were here in the U.S. long enough to learn the language,” says Abdollahi. “Some of them were detained during the winter break [from school].” 

(See also: Why is it so easy for the feds to deport women and children fleeing violence at home?)

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.