New Mexico Immigration Lockup Draws Criticism

AP — Trailers have been set up for a school at a federal immigration detention center in an isolated New Mexico desert town. A basketball court and a soccer field have been installed. And detainees are pleading their cases over a video link with judges in Denver. Officials say that the facility, billed as a temporary place to house women and children from Central America who were among a wave of immigrants who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally this year, could remain open until next summer. “All of us would love us to see the doors close in Artesia but the reality is the need will probably be there and probably until the end of the high season, probably August next year,” a government official told immigration advocates in a recent confidential meeting. The AP had access to a recording of the meeting with the official, whose name or position was not identified. The detainees at the Artesia Family Residential Center, meanwhile, are growing increasingly frustrated that they are being held with no end in sight while earlier border-crossers were released with orders to contact immigration officials later. [Read More]