CHICAGO (WLS) -- Border patrol officers held three children who are American citizens in custody for several hours Thursday at O'Hare International Airport, officials said.
In a statement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the three children arrived with a Mexican citizen at a flight into O'Hare. Customs and Border Protections officers deemed the Mexican citizen inadmissible to the country, for reasons the agency did not specify.
The children were taken into border patrol custody as officers attempted "numerous times" to reach family members to pick them up, CBP officials said.
The children's parents would not come to pick them up because they are undocumented and feared deportation, ABC News reported.
A government official familiar with the case told ABC News border patrol officers did not know the parents were undocumented when they called them, and were not attempting to trap the parents by detaining the children.
The mother has since picked up her three daughters, aged 9, 10 and 13, without incident, officials said.
Border patrol detains 3 American children for several hours at O'Hare Airport