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Only on 9OYS: Video shows unaccompanied migrant children housed in Tucson shelter

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Photo: Video by kgun9.com

Only on 9OYS: Video shows unaccompanied migrant children housed in Tucson shelter

By Cory Marshall, Maggie Vespa . CREATED Jul 17, 2014

TUCSON(KGUN9-TV) - It's the first glimpse inside a Tucson shelter where a source confirms some 160 unaccompanied migrant children are being housed. The exclusive video, obtained by 9OYS, shows what appears to be children, from toddlers to teens, playing outside the former student housing complex located on Oracle near Drachman.

In all of the video, what looks like supervisors escort the children through the former student housing complex. Notably some of the children are wearing masks that cover their mouths. This particular clip shows a group of boys led outside -- all of them wearing medical masks.

A source tells 9OYS, nearly 200 unaccompanied migrant children are now living inside the shelter. Late last month, city leaders gave Texas-based non-profit Southwest Key the "O.K." to house 160 migrant children under the guidance of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Earlier Thursday, Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake introduced the "CREST Act." The legislation would enable unaccompanied migrant children, from areas like Central America, to be given the same treatment as those from Mexico and Canada, allowing law enforcement to return them to their home countries within days.

In a statement Senator McCain said, "This crisis will continue until the parents who paid thousands of dollars to smuggle their children north to the United States see plane-loads of them landing back at home - their money wasted."

Nine on Your Side contacted HHS regarding the children wearing medical masks. A spokesperson said he did not know the details and would need to review the video to find out.