Lawyers volunteer to help Artesia detainees


ARTESIA, N.M. (AP) – A nationwide network of attorneys is helping immigrants at a temporary detention center in southeastern New Mexico.

The Albuquerque Journal reports around a dozen immigration attorneys from Colorado, Nevada, New York and Minnesota recently arrived in Artesia to provide pro bono representation.

Advocates say many of the women and children from Central America were being deported without the required legal help.

Olsi Vrapi, a University of New Mexico law professor, is coordinating the effort alongside the Washington, D.C.-based American Immigration Lawyers Association. He says there are no shortage of volunteers and no shortage of cases.

The Obama administration recently converted the Artesia facility into one of several temporary sites being established to deal with the influx of women and children fleeing gang violence and poverty in Central America.

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