Artesia mayor: Immigrants could be in town for a year

ARTESIA — The mayor of the southeastern New Mexico city says hundreds of Central American immigrants could be at a detention center in town 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 immigrants will be housed at Artesia’s Federal Law Enforcement Training Center for six months to a year.

Burch says residents are upset about the temporary center opening and are worried about unvaccinated children.

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.

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