By H. Nelson Goodson
October 16, 2014
Artesia, New Mexico - On Monday, the Artesia Family Residential Center (AFRC), a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) holding detention center for undocumented families and children opened its first day of school for 200 children ages 4 to 17, ICE reported. The AFRC is operated by both ICE and ERO in Artesia.
ICE will almost complete 12 classrooms in six converted buildings and will hold classes between 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. daily. Children are allowed to have breakfast and lunch with family members during class operations.
AMIkids was contracted by ICE to instruct the children with general educational services in accordance with the State of New Mexico Public Education Department, ICE reported. The children are learning basic English as part of their daily curriculum.
The AFRC is located in the grounds of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in New Mexico and opened in June to accommodate an influx of undocumented families and unaccompanied children crossing into the U.S. in record numbers.
"The Artesia Family Residential Center provides an effective and humane alternative to maintain family unity as families await the outcome of immigration hearings or return to their home countries," said Alfredo Fierro ERO deputy field office director in El Paso, who is charged with overseeing the center's operations.