The Smithsonian National Museum of American History is interested in obtaining drawings done by migrant children in U.S. custody.
CNN reported the museum reached out to the news outlet and to the American Academy of Pediatrics with an inquiry into the drawings. The drawings come from three children at a Catholic respite center in McAllen, Texas and show some of the experiences at detention facilities, the New York Times reported.
The drawings were sent to news outlets last week from the American Academy of Pediatrics. An AAP staff member took pictures of the three drawings in June while visiting government facilities near the U.S.-Mexico border.
The drawings show frowning stick figures behind bars, in cages and on the floor under blankets. One shows other figures outside a cage wearing hats. Another shows no people, just a couple of toilets in a corner behind bars.
In a statement to CNN, the Smithsonian said, "The museum has a long commitment to telling the complex and complicated history of the United States and to documenting that history as it unfolds."
The museum also said it "does not publicize nor speculate on potential collecting prior to formally accessioning artifacts."
When the photos were released last week, incoming AAP President Dr. Sara Goza described what she and others experienced while touring the Customs and Border Protection facilities.
"When they opened the door, the first thing that...hit us was a smell," Goza told CBS News. "It was the smell of sweat, urine and feces. And I heard crinkling to my left and I looked over there and it was a sea of silver...there were young children, boys in there. Unaccompanied boys in there."
Goza said she saw a room full of silent children, describing the rooms "almost like dog cages with people in each of them."
The respite center houses can hold 500 to 800 migrants who were recently released from Customs and Border Protection, CNN reported.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan defended conditions at U.S. Border Patrol stations, saying "it's an extraordinarily challenging situation."
The responses from DHS and President Donald Trump came after reports of crowded and unsanitary conditions that have increased debates about current immigration policy.
Trump tweeted Sunday, defending his administration's response and accusing the news media of "phony and exaggerated accounts" but without giving evidence.
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