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Homeland Security Secretary to immigrants: ‘We will send you back’

By: Bill Melugin
ARTESIA, N.M. -- A new U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility is opening in Artesia, and it is housing close to 200 immigrants and their families who are in the country illegally.

On Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson visited the center and said many of the people detained there will soon be deported.

The federal law enforcement training center is a large and highly secure facility that started taking in immigrants that came across the southwest border illegally.

ICE agents took KFOX14 and other media outlets on a tour of the housing areas. Agents told reporters that audio was not allowed to be recorded and their voices needed to be kept down because the detainees were sleeping.

Each room inside the detention center has a bed for each person, a table, closet and a TV.

Federal officials told KFOX14 a childrens play center that had toys available would soon receiving an Xbox gaming device, as well.

ICE released pictures showing children and adult detainees being housed there, but the detainees were not shown to the media.

Johnson said deportation of the housed immigrants would start as early as next week.

Our border is not open to illegal migration, and our message to those who are coming here illegally, who are contemplating come here illegally into south Texas is: We will send you back, Johnson said.

Tonight on KFOX14 News at Nine, see how the facility is using teachers from public schools to educate detained children on-site.