Residents of another community have expressed anger over the federal government’s placement of recent illegal border crossers in their area. According to an Albuquerque ABC affiliate, about 400 people attended a town hall in Artesia, New Mexico last night to speak out against holding illegal aliens at a local Federal Law Enforcement Training center. Only a few spoke out in favor of helping the illegal aliens.
The Department of Homeland Security recently announced plans to convert the training center into a temporary housing site for illegal aliens from Central America who, unlike those from Mexico, cannot be immediately deported like illegal aliens from Mexico under current law. The three barracks at the Artesia site currently hold about 200 illegal aliens but DHS plans to locate up to 700 there while they await an immigration hearing.
At the town hall meeting, city and federal officials heard from residents who are afraid the illegal aliens might take jobs from locals and resources away from American-born children. Ginger Kelly said the illegal aliens are getting assistance while some locals lack food and health insurance. "Yes, we need to provide [food to the illegal alien] women and children, but I also think ... our government needs to look at our own kids," Kelly said.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have tried to assure residents that the illegal aliens are no threat to the community but, in an interview, New Mexico Department of Safety Secretary Greg Fouratt said, “We’re worried there might be more crime than what Homeland Security is worried about.” Fouratt also is concerned that illegal aliens who lose their deportation hearings will try to escape the Artesia facility, which is enclosed only by an 8-foot chain-link fence.
Artesia residents had similar concerns. “It’s not that hard to get over an 8-foot fence because most people can climb an 8-foot fence easy let alone someone who is wanting to get out,” said Destry Kinnibrugh. “What’s an unarmed security guard going to do against three or four people if they get out or want to get out? That’s not good enough.”
Updated: Thu, Jun 15th 2017 @ 3:12pm EDT