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Homeland Security Secretary visits the FLETC facility

Created: 07/11/2014 6:13 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

President Obama’s multi-billion dollar plan to end the immigration crisis is hung up in Congress. A 2008 law allows each of those children a hearing, but Republicans want the law repealed and the children deported ASAP.      

Friday Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson echoed that sentiment in Artesia. He and other ICE officials visited the FLETC facility where immigrants are being housed.

400 Central American women and children are now living at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia. And just about everyone in Artesia has an opinion about it.

"I can say I don't want them here," said Shelley Choate.

“Well, I feel like they’re already broke the law why should we have to pay to set them up too," said Valeria Kathryn Perry.

“If they know how to get in, then they know how to get out so it's scary, it's scary," said Janie Smith.

The small New Mexico town has become a part of a humanitarian crisis.

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson visited the Artesia facility Friday with a strong message.

"The message has to be that our border is not open to illegal migration and we are sending people back," said Johnson.

The immigrants will only stay for 10-15 days until they’re deported back to their home country.

More than 57,000 Central Americans have crossed since October, the survivors of a dangerous journey. They have traveled thousands of miles through treacherous conditions, hoping for a better life in America.

"Personally I feel that if my children were in danger of their life, I would want a country that was friendly that would take care of them," said Rebecca Box.

Still, some people in Artesia are not happy.

“It’s really putting the community and our needs completely on a whole different stove, not even the back burner, it’s like they just don't care," said Perry.

“Our leaders don’t know what they’re doing, honestly,” said Alfonso Flores.


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