Not only has nearly every illegal immigrant held at a temporary detention facility in Artesia, New Mexico, been released, they have also been given a bus or plane ticket to a location of their choosing, says the town’s mayor.
The temporary facility in Artesia was opened by the Department of Homeland Security in June to hold people who travel across the southern border illegally from Mexico and Central America. But Philip Burch, the Mayor of Artesia, said on Newsmax TV’s America’s Forum Thursday, “We have ceased calling it a detention center because there’s not very much detention going on.”
Burch said 513 detainees have been released into the United States, while only 35 were deported, citing figures from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The Associated Press (AP) reported Tuesday the Artesia facility will close by the end of December, making way for a new facility in Dilley, Texas. There is also one in Pennsylvania.
In a separate interview with KSVP radio in Artesia last week, Burch said, “I keep thinking of [Department of Homeland Security] Secretary [Jeh] Johnson’s comments when he visited here in July, when it was first starting to get going. He described Artesia as going to be a ‘rapid deportation’ site.”
But Burch asserted on America’s Forum that illegal immigrants were being released into the United States.
“What we are seeing is immigrants being detained and brought to this site when they cross the border only to be housed, fed, clothed, 24 hour a day medical services, and even schooling, and then be released into the United States. If that is going to be the ultimate outcome, it seems like we should just let them go at the border.”
Burch also told Newsmax TV the detainees are taken to a bus stop or the airport to go to a destination of their choosing, typically out of state.
He added, “If the result is going to be that 95 percent end up being released rather than deported, it makes little sense to me to spend the millions of dollars to [detain] them for a short period of time, only to release them into the general public.”
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom