By Milan Simonich of The New Mexican |
ARTESIA — Oil, farming and high school football are usually the hottest topics in this dusty town of 11,300 people. But now Artesia finds itself in the middle of the national debate on immigration policy.
Between 400 and 500 immigrants accused of illegally entering the United States were being held last week in a government compound here that, ironically enough, trains every U.S. Border Patrol agent. All of the immigrants being detained in Artesia are mothers and their children, a total of 191 families as of Friday.
Artesia Mayor Phillip Burch says many of those in custody at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center paid thousands of dollars to immigrant smugglers who assured them that they would be accepted in the United States if only they made it to the border in South Texas.
When these mothers with children in tow reached what they thought was a safe haven, a new world full of bright promise, many walked right up to a Border Patrol agent to announce that they were immigrating to America, Burch said. Instead, they landed in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Read more
Just this morning here in Seattle, NWIRP and a coalition of partners filed a national class action lawsuit against the federal government challenging its failure to provide legal representation to thousands of children facing deportation proceedings in immigration court.
Let me tell you why.
Three of our clients – a 10-year-old boy, his 13-year old brother, and 15-year old sister in El Salvador – watched their father be murdered in front of their eyes. The father had been targeted because he and the mother ran Read more
- American Immigration Council report, “No Childhood Here: Why Central American Children are Fleeing their Homes,” https://docs.google.com/a/alliancesd.org/document/d/1YnLixUNgTTEj8C17y4H8acVyC0C5_nNP29zS9suAXnc/edit
- Donate to San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (SDIRC): http://www.immigrantsandiego.org
- Learn more about what is happening in California here: http://immigrantsandiego.org/2014/07/03/sdirc-assist-central-american-refugees/
- Donate to Border Action Network: http://www.borderaction.org
- Donate to Catholic Charities: http://www.ccs-soaz.org/Donations-to-Assist-Migrant-Women-and-Children.html
- Learn more about what is happening in Arizona here: http://borderaction.org/border-action-networks-tour-of-the-nogales-national-placement-center/ Read more