Last week Border Patrol officers dropped off around 100 asylum-seeking migrants at a private bus station in Las Cruces, despite a request from the city to halt the practice.
Las Cruces Sun News reports that the city of Las Cruces asked Border Patrol to stop dropping asylum-seekers on its streets for the time being, because the city's shelters are reportedly straining to keep up with the needs of migrants who have already been left there since mid-April. In response, Border Patrol agents dropped off around 100 people in two groups at a privately owned bus station operated by El Paso-Los Angeles Limousine Express Inc. instead of leaving them at a county- or city-sponsored facility.
The migrants are in the country legally while their cases are being processed. To be considered an asylum-seeker, they must have a host family or sponsor where they can live until they receive an immigration hearing. Many of the asylum-seekers do not have the means to afford lodging and food as they wait to travel to their sponsors, and Las Cruces officials say the city's shelters are at capacity.
Most asylum-seekers move on within 24 hours of being dropped off by Border Patrol, but the reportedly low availability of bus and air transit is making it difficult for some to find transportation in a timely manner.
NM Ordered to Pay Legal Fees
A judge has ordered the state of New Mexico to pay for the legal fees of two groups that filed a lawsuit against the state alleging that the Education Department failed to provide an adequate education to the state's public school students.
Last summer First Judicial District Judge Sarah Singleton ruled in favor of both groups of plaintiffs, finding that the state had not met its constitutional requirements.
According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, following the judge's decision, the plaintiffs sought compensation for the legal costs to file the suit. Earlier this month Singleton ordered the state to pay $116,857.81 to a group headed by plaintiff Wilhelmina Yazzie in compensation. Last week she ordered the state to pay the second group, headed by plaintiff Louise Martinez, $312,104.36.
Prison to Reopen for ICE Detainees
A closed-down prison in Torrance County might reopen to hold Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees.
According to KRQE, county officials have said they are working with the federal government and corrections management company Civic Core to reopen the Torrance County Detention Center, which shut down in 2017. If reopened, authorities say the facility will be used to house ICE detainees, although the specifics are unclear.
The community of Estancia—where the detention center is located—is reportedly supporting the plan. When the prison shut down two years ago, a major blow was struck to the town's economy. Hundreds were laid off, and county officials estimated a loss of around $300,000 a year in tax revenue.
Last week the county announced that an agreement had been reached, but it will have to be put to a vote by the County Commission. Civic Core began publishing job listings in the area earlier this month.