Deportations, arrivals halted at Artesia immigrant facility over chicken pox

Updated: 07/30/2014 6:14 PM | Created: 07/30/2014 9:34 AM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Right now more than 600 illegal immigrants from Central America are housed at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia.

Their deportations are on hold for a while. That’s because officials say chicken pox is going around.

“It’s just a time bomb waiting to go off," said Artesia resident Larry Rolan.

Congressman Steve Pearce has confirmed that two undocumented immigrants staying at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia have contracted chicken pox.

He says they have been isolated while the remaining immigrants are vaccinated.

In the meantime, officials have stopped the arrival and deportation of immigrants.

629 women and children are there right now. And there’s more than chicken pox going around. So far 89 immigrants have tested positive on the skin test for tuberculosis.

That is just a preliminary test. There have been no confirmed cases.

Eight immigrants also tested positive for lice, two for scabies.

All this has Artesia residents a little worried.

“I’m concerned for our kids. I understand that compassion is a very necessary virtue, but at the same time compassion has to stop somewhere," said Rolan.

"Hopefully they can get cured and just get sent back on their way," said Crystal Cardenas.

No word on when deportations will resume.

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