- Associated Press - Thursday, June 26, 2014

McALLEN, Texas (AP) - The conversion of a 55,000-square foot warehouse in South Texas into a processing facility for unaccompanied children who have entered the country illegally is expected to be ready by mid-July.

An email Thursday from a Customs and Border Protection liaison to two Texas lawmakers confirmed the plans for the facility first reported earlier in the week.

Construction permits, obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request, revealed plans for four fence-enclosed pods inside a corrugated steel warehouse in McAllen that could accommodate about 1,000 children.

More than 52,000 unaccompanied minors have been arrested since October after entering the United States illegally, a 99 percent increase over the same period a year earlier. About three-quarters of those children have been arrested in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas.