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Inside the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia

Created: 06/26/2014 6:28 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

For the first time, we're seeing where detained immigrants will be staying in New Mexico.

In the coming days, hundreds of Central American children, along with their mothers, will head to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia.

The children, who have traveled thousands of miles, will find movies, bouncy balls and hula hoops waiting for them in the federal compound in Artesia.

Inside FLETC, hallways open to a string of bedrooms. Each bedroom has eight beds, four closets, two desks and a TV.

Every child will be greeted with a brand new toy on their bed, and a playroom that will soon have an Xbox.

The people housed there will also get six to 10 outfits for their stay.

There are sink rooms, shower rooms and baby baths. Towels still with tags, shampoo, and diapers await the babies.

For the adults, 15 cell phones will be available to make international calls free of charge.

A fridge in the hallway will provide 24 hour access to milk, water and fruit.

"We have an obligation to care for them, to give them a place to sleep, to give them showers, to give them food, and we're going to do that," said a senior ICE official that did not want to be identified. "This is America and we treat people humanely."

Senior officials would not go on camera, but say people heading here are the survivors of a dangerous journey.

"People tragically die. It's a perilous journey that people should not take. People should try to enter the country lawfully," one official said.

Security at the center is minimal, with detainees free to roam inside and unarmed guards at the doors.

Outside, just a fence stands in the way of freedom.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 was told they would add more security if they felt it was needed.

"You're going to have adults with children that aren't criminals being housed here. Individuals that have criminal backgrounds that we house at other facilities have higher security measures. We have security measures in place that are instituted and we feel that they are adequate," an official said.

It's expected the immigrants will stay for 10-15 days until they're deported.

The feds plan to contract local teachers to teach the detained children. An on-site physician will check for diseases.

If the immigrants ask for asylum, they could end up staying for a few months.


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