In addition, a report published last week by Reveal and the Texas Tribune found that Southwest Key Programs was one of thirteen organizations who’ve faced “serious allegations or citations” who’ve been paid a total of $1.5 billion in federal dollars to house immigrant children in the last five years:

In October, an employee appeared drunk when he showed up to work at a facility operated by Southwest Key Programs in San Benito, Texas. A drug test later found he was over the legal alcohol limit to drive. That was among more 246 violations state inspectors found at Southwest Key’s facilities.


According to the Times, the missing boy had come to the border alone. If he’s found, federal officials said, he’ll be referred again by the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

“If the facility was such a great idea, why are they trying to get out?” Brownsville mayor Tony Martinez told the Times on Sunday. “Most of the people that escape, they escape from jails. They escape from prisons, because it’s not a fun place to be at. I can just imagine what might be going through that young man’s head, at 15 years old: ‘What am I doing here?’”