Attorney Interviews Highlight Concerns At New Mexico Immigrant Detention Facility
A team of attorneys has met with immigrant women detained at a recently opened government facility in Artesia, N.M.
On Tuesday, lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Immigration Law Center traveled to Artesia and interviewed 25 women and children from El Salvador.
In 1982, during the civil war in El Salvador, a U.S. District Court found U.S. immigration officials had wrongly deported Salvadorans eligible for asylum. To this day the court order, known as the Orantes Injuction, mandates Salvadorans under immigration custody must get extra legal protections, including a written description of the rights.
But Cecillia Wang, who directs the ACLU's Immigrant Rights Project, worries that's not happening.
"We heard stories of women who were given a form in English to sign without having a translation, without having a lawyer to help," she said.
At least two planeloads of migrants held in New Mexico have already been deported since late June. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has said the quick deportations send a necessary message that there is no 'free pass' into the United States.