Almost 300 women and children from Central America being held in family detention centers that opened following the recent influx of illegal immigrants over the southwest border have been deported. 280 women and children were deported as of late Wednesday from the Artesia Family Residential Center, with a further 14 deported from the Karnes County Residential Center in Texas. The great majority have been sent back to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
Immigration officials stopped the receiving and deportation of women and children from the facility in Artesia in late July following a chicken pox quarantine; however, flights returning immigrants to Central America resumed on the 7th of this month. 71 mothers and children have since been deported, according to Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman Leticia Zamarripa.
When an immigrant was diagnosed with chicken pox, the intake and deportation of those at the facility was halted for safety reasons by immigration officials. “US Immigration and Customs Enforcement takes the health, safety and welfare of those in our care seriously and is committed to ensuring that all ICE detainees receive timely and appropriate medical treatment,” Zamarripa says.
The family detention centers have faced other problems, such as unsanitary conditions, inconsistent temperatures and a lack of food. Officials have also faced accusations of denying due process to mothers and children in order to increase the speed by which undocumented immigrants from Central America are processed and deported.