Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to visit New Mexico center

ALBUQUERQUE, NM - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced that Secretary Jeh Johnson will visit a temporary immigration detention center in southeastern New Mexico.

The department said Johnson will tour the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia on Friday. He also is scheduled to meet with officials in Weslaco, Texas, about the surge in Central American immigrants along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Last month, the Obama administration announced plans to convert the Artesia facility into one of several temporary sites being established to deal with the influx of women and children fleeing gang violence and poverty in Central America.

The three barracks at the Artesia site can hold nearly 700 people as they await deportation or seek asylum.

Area residents have protested the opening of facility while Catholic groups are working to provide help.

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