Tags: America's Forum | Homeland Security | Immigration | Artesia | New Mexico | Mayor Phillip Burch | immigrants

Mayor: 95 Percent of Illegal Immigrants Held at Site Are Released

By    |   Thursday, 20 Nov 2014 12:32 PM

Despite Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson’s assertion in July that an Artesia, New Mexico, holding facility would be a temporary detour in the "rapid deportation process" of illegal immigrants flooding the southern border, 95 percent of those brought there have been released into the United States, Artesia Mayor Phillip Burch said Thursday on "America’s Forum" on Newsmax TV.

"Since Oct. 1, 513 [people] have been released into the United States and only 35 deported," Burch said. "Of those 35 deportations, 12 of them were Mexican nationals that should have never been sent to Artesia in the first place. So over 95 percent of those being brought into this site are eventually released into the United States."

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The immigrants who are released are given a bus or airplane ticket to the U.S. location of their choosing, according to Burch.

Burch said those in the community have stopped referring to it as a detention facility.

"As a taxpayer, I view the announcement that they're going to close the site … I'm very pleased that that's going to happen simply because what we're seeing is immigrants being detained and brought to this site when they cross the border only to be housed, fed, clothed, 24-hour-a-day medical services and even schooling and then be released into the United States if that's going to be the ultimate outcome it seems like we should just let them go at the border," he said.

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Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced earlier this month that no more detained illegal immigrants would be transferred to the Artesia facility, which will be closing. Officials said the number of people entering illegally at the southern border has dropped dramatically. The temporary facility was opened in June.

Burch said the large numbers of people being released began when the government reassigned the cases.

"The reason for the high release rate is purely in the judicial system," Burch said. "We saw a marked increase in releases when the judges viewing these cases, that responsibility was moved from the state of Virginia to the state of Colorado. All of these decisions now are being made by judges in Colorado that obviously 95 percent of the time released the individual rather than deport."

The residents of Artesia are split in their feelings about allowing the illegal immigrants to remain in the country, he added.

"Our community is approximately 50 percent Hispanic so there are those that feel that the releases are good and in line with what they're thinking," Burch said. "There are others that feel like a person who is simply released into the United States and later given amnesty is given a free ride in front of those people who are currently trying to do this legally and trying to go through the process that's been established by our immigration laws. So it's a mixed bag. There are a majority that say amnesty is not the way to solve the problem. It will simply cause more people to come, feeling that, well, the next wave of amnesty will allow them in."

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Despite an assertion in July that an Artesia, New Mexico, holding facility would be a temporary detour in the "rapid deportation process" of illegal immigrants, 95 percent of those brought there have been released into the United States, Artesia Mayor Phillip Burch said.
Artesia, New Mexico, Mayor Phillip Burch, immigrants
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2014-32-20
Thursday, 20 Nov 2014 12:32 PM
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