The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today that it plans to close the detention facility in Artesia, New Mexico, where immigrant mothers and children currently are jailed. The closure of Artesia comes with the opening of a permanent, drastically larger family detention center in Dilley, Texas. Rather than be released, the immigrants—most of whom fled extreme violence, death threats, rape, and persecution in Central America and came to the United States seeking U.S. protection —are being transferred to the Dilley center.
Since June, DHS has locked up mothers and children at the isolated detention center in Artesia, hours from the nearest major metropolitan area. In Artesia, the government has created a deportation mill where they carry out policies designed to ensure the rapid removals of Central American families. The mothers held in Artesia have been deprived of a fair opportunity to present their asylum claims, and based on reports of the transfer, there is no reason to believe anything will be different in Dilley.