ALBUQUERQUE (AP) – The mayor of a New Mexico city where federal immigration authorities are holding nearly 500 detainees says the facility will likely get more detainees and it isn’t closing anytime soon.
Artesia Mayor Phillip Burch told The Associated Press more detainees are expected to arrive soon weeks after officials lifted a quarantine stemming from a few cases of chickenpox.
Burch says 68 detainees were released to the public and around 14 were deported last week from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia. He says officials reported around 479 detainees remain.
Burch says Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials briefed Artesia officials on the latest numbers during a weekly meeting.
ICE spokeswoman Leticia Zamarripa says 324 detainees have been deported to Central America since the center opened three months ago. She did not say when more detainees were expected.