The federal government has removed some 300 children from a Border Patrol facility in Texas after reports of unsanitary and overcrowded conditions.
Rep. Veronica Escobar said 30 children were at the facility near El Paso as of Monday.
Former policy advisor for U.S. Customs and Border Protections, Theresa Brown, said the reason is supposedly because it helps government decisions remain separate from private-sector interests.
The conditions at the station in Clint, Texas, included inadequate food, lack of medical care, and older children trying to care for toddlers.
They described a hungry four-year-old with matted hair who had gone without a shower for days, and inconsolable children struggling to soothe one another. But numerous children were held for weeks at the Clint facility, which CBP says is not bound to the 72-hour limit because it is an emergency shelter.
Both ORR and the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees arrests, detentions and deportations of migrants have been facing mounting criticism from immigration lawyers, lawmakers and human rights monitors for their treatment of migrant detainees and their management of public funds.
"They are as upset as we are that these children are being put into their care because they don't have the ability to care for them", Mr Binford said on MSNBC.
"This is a direct result of the unprecedented number of arriving children", she said.
"Several hundred of the children had been kept in a warehouse that was recently erected on the facility grounds".
The acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection plans to step down in the coming weeks, according to two agency officials.
Evelyn Stauffer, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), said that unaccompanied children were being held too long at the detention centers where the limit is supposed to be 72 hours. It saw almost 3000 children separated before it was suspended. Some young mothers had to wear clothes stained with breast milk.
The president said of the detained migrant children that he would "like to see them" receive toothbrushes and soap, but said the issue of providing them came from a "from a strictly legal standpoint".
"The Office of Refugee Resettlement, where they're supposed to be sending these children, is at capacity", said University of San Francisco law professor Bill Hing, who was among the six lawyers to interview children at the Clint facility last week.
"There is a stench", said Elora Mukherjee, director of the Immigrants' Rights Clinic at Columbia Law School, one of the lawyers who visited the facility.
Conditions at Customs and Border Protection facilities along the border have been an issue of increasing concern as officials warn that the recent large influx of migrant families has driven numerous facilities well past their capacities.
"[Unaccompanied children] are waiting too long in CBP facilities that are not created to care for children", ORR spokesperson Evelyn Stauffer said.