Created: 06/24/2014 5:31 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4
They are running from gang violence and drug cartels and thousands have made it to the U.S. hoping to call it home.
But President Obama is calling it something else, an urgent humanitarian crisis.
That’s because families and children without families have been crossing the U.S. border illegally from Central and South America.
And those border patrols are admittedly overwhelmed.
A 2008 law prevents all of them from being immediately deported.
So they are going to California, Virginia, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, too.
Hundreds of the illegal immigrants could be arriving in Artesia as soon as Tuesday night.
They’ll be staying at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.
The families will stay in portable units on the edge of town.
The Department of Homeland Security says the location was selected because it is an appropriate environment for the care and custody and is cost-effective.
People living nearby would have liked a little more notice.
“Well, it's kind of disturbing, this has all happened really fast," said Dwayne Pounds.
Pounds lives across the street from where the immigrants will be held.
“You know that these things go on, but when they happen right here in your front yard, it comes a little closer to home," said Pounds.
The immigrants will be processed on FLETC’s campus, but it will not affect the center’s operations.
The families will stay here for about a week before being deported.