ARTESIA, N.M. (AP) — The mayor of the southeastern New Mexico city says an immigration detention center in town will be open for a year — and maybe longer.
Artesia Mayor Phillip Burch told The Associated Press on Thursday that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials recently informed him of their plans. Seven-hundred or so Central American immigrants will be housed at Artesia's Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. He says the average stay for immigrants there will be 30 days.
Last week, the Obama administration announced plans to open detention centers for families due to a surge in children suspected of entering the country illegally.
Border Patrol agents have apprehended more than 52,000 immigrant children crossing the border alone since October.