Artesia Resource Page
Thousands of women and children fleeing violence and persecution in Central America have arrived at our southern border seeking refuge. In the summer of 2014, the government quickly propped up a family detention facility in Artesia, New Mexico, hours away from the nearest metropolitan city. There, they are detaining hundreds of women and children in order to quickly process them for deportation. These families have become the latest collateral damage in an immigration system that lacks sensibility, flexibility and humanity and that fails to provide fair hearings, even for those who face grave danger if they are wrongly deported.
The Immigration Council, in collaboration with the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, the National Immigration Law Center, Van Der Hout Brigagliano & Nightingale LLP, and Jenner & Block, filed a lawsuit on behalf of mothers and children locked up in Artesia. The complaint charges the government with enacting a new strong-arm policy to ensure rapid deportations by holding these families to a nearly insurmountable and erroneous standard to prove their asylum claims, and by placing countless hurdles in front of them. We are demanding that the expedited deportation process comport with the immigration laws and the Constitution and that each person be afforded a meaningful opportunity to apply for asylum in the United States. We also have filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act, seeking to compel the release of government documents regarding the expedited removal process against families with children, including those detained by DHS in Artesia.
M.S.P.C. v. Johnson – Systemic Challenge to Policies at Artesia
This suit, filed on August 22, 2014 in the federal district court for the District of Columbia, is a systemic challenge to the policies denying a fair deportation process to mothers and children who have fled extreme violence, death threats, rape, and persecution in Central America and come to the United States seeking safety.
According to the complaint, the Obama administration is violating long-established constitutional and statutory law by enacting policies that have:
- Categorically prejudged asylum cases with a "detain-and-deport" policy, regardless of individual circumstances.
- Drastically restricted communication with the outside world for the women and children held at the remote detention center, including communication with attorneys.
- Given virtually no notice to detainees of critically important interviews used to determine the outcome of asylum requests.
- Led to the intimidation and coercion of the women and children by immigration officers, including being screamed at for wanting to see a lawyer.
- Groups Sue U.S. Government over Life-Threatening Deportation Process Against Mothers and Children Escaping Extreme Violence in Central America (August 2014)
- Immigrant Rights Attorneys Detail Concrete Steps Being Taken to Address Due Process Violations in Artesia (August 2014) (recorded press conference)
Excerpts from Declarations - Read accounts from lawyers who observed the unfair and absuive treatment at Artesia.
American Immigration Council et al. v. DHS – FOIA Suit
On October 21, 2014, The American Immigration Council, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, with co-counsel, the National Immigration Law Center and Jenner & Block LLP, filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act to compel the release of government documents regarding the expedited removal process against families with children, including those detained by DHS in Artesia, New Mexico. The suit was filed in the federal district court for the Southern District of New York.
- Immigrant Rights Advocates Sue to Reveal Policies and Procedures at Artesia Family Detention Facility (October 2014)
- Blogs: View all our blogs on Artesia and Family Detention
- Report by Elizabeth Kennedy: No Childhood Here: Why Central American Children Are Fleeing Their Homes (July 2014)
- IPC Report: Children in Danger: A Guide to the Humanitarian Challenge at the Border (July 10, 2014)
- Press Release: America Must Uphold Its Obligatiosn to Protect Children and Families Fleeing Persecution (June 30, 2014)
- National Immigration Law Center Report: The U.S. Government's Response to the Current Influx of Unaccompanied Children at the Border and Its Obligations Under Existing Court Orders (June 2014)
- IPC Report: Mexican and Central American Asylum and Credible Fear Claims: Background and Context (May 21, 2014)
Hold CBP Accountable
actions taken across the country in an ongoing effort to establish accountability and transparency of one of the fastest growing agencies in the United States.
Administrative Relief Resource Center
Learn how individuals can prepare for administrative relief, find legal assistance and community education resource, and ways that you can help immigrants and immigrant-serving organizations.
- District Court Rules Grant of TPS Is an Admission for Adjustment of Status Purposes
- First Circuit Joins Other Courts in Holding That Immigrants Can Pursue Cases From Outside the United States
- Seventh Circuit Decision Expands Availability of Hardship Waivers to Lawful Permanent Residents
- ICE Agrees to Release Thousands of Previously-Withheld Records
- Court Says ICE Failed to Satisfy FOIA Requirements in Council’s Suit to Compel Disclosure of Records on Access to Counsel
- Eleventh Circuit Holds That Filing Limitations on Motions to Reopen Are Subject to Equitable Tolling
- Visa Bulletin “Do-Over” Undercuts Visa Modernization
- First Step in Visa Modernization: Making the Wait More Palatable
- Five Families Released After Prolonged Detention
- Restrictionists Continue to Attack H-4 Work Authorization
- Government Ordered to Promptly Release Children From Family Detention
- Court Issues Decision in Washtech, Case Challenging Training for U.S.-Educated Noncitizens
- Annual Review of State-Level Immigration Policy Still Trending Pro-Immigrant
- The Government Doubles Down on Locking Up Immigrant Mothers and Children
- Insider Speaks Out Alongside Formerly Detained Mothers Seeking Protection in the U.S.
- Court Finds Federal Officers Can be Sued for Mistreatment of Immigrants in Detention
- Judge’s Order in Flores Should Signal the End of Family Detention
- White House Report on Improving Our Legal Immigration System: Too Little Too Late?
- Some 3-Year Work Permits Being Recalled by USCIS
- Appellate Court Hears Oral Argument in Texas v. United States
- U.S. Settles With 4-Year-Old U.S. Citizen They Wrongfully Deported
- Members of Congress Report on Texas Family Detention Center Visits
- Supreme Court Finds Conviction for Possession of a Sock Was Not a Deportable Offense
- Court Rejects Restrictionists’ Attempts to Derail Work Authorization for H-4 Spouses
- Immigration Appeals Court Reverses Position on Deportation Waivers
- Why DAPA Applications Were Not Accepted by USCIS on May 19, 2015
- Reports: Detention Doesn’t Deter Migrants and Refugees From Coming to United States
- Arpaio Faces Skeptical Judges In Lawsuit Challenging Obama’s Immigration Action
- Supreme Court to Decide Whether It’s Okay to Deprive a Person of His Day In Immigration Court
- No Justice For Family of Mexican Child Killed By U.S. Border Patrol Agent
- The Court Decision on Deferred Action Everyone Should Be Talking About
- Faith Leaders Visit Immigrant Detention Center as Mothers Begin Hunger Strike
- Immigration Agency Issues Long-Awaited Guidance on L-1B Visa Petitions
- Government Claims Children in Family Detention Centers Are Not Entitled to Protections
- Documenting Ongoing Border Patrol Abuses
- Immigration Action Provides Certain H-4 Spouses Work Authorization
- New Immigration Enforcement Policy Remains In Effect Despite Texas Lawsuit
- Supreme Court Hears Argument on Whether Government Must Justify Its Visa Denial
- The Detention of Children and Their Families is Still Unjust and Still Against the Law
- Unrepresented Children Still Being Fast-Tracked Through Immigration Hearings
- When is Possession of a Sock a Deportable Offense?
- U.S. Education of Foreign Students is Under Attack
- Do the President’s New Immigration Policies Really Mark the End of Secure Communities?
- How New Guidance Improves a Waiver Program to Limit Family Separations
- Five Things to Know About Deportation Relief for Some Immigrant Parents
- How Many Immigrants Could Be Eligible for Relief and Not Know It?
- Civil Rights Complaint Documents Government’s Failure to Properly Screen Asylum Seekers
- Third Federal Court Rejects Government Interpretation of ‘Admission’ into U.S.
- How USCIS Tried to Keep Out a Skilled Brazilian Steakhouse Worker
- How Can a Three Year Old Represent Himself in Court?
- Report Discloses Deportation of Central American Asylum Seekers
- Federal Court Refuses to Dismiss Case of U.S. Citizen Girl Who Was Deported
- Inspector General Falls Short in Documenting Border Detention Conditions
- Why Groups Are Suing the Government over Rushed Deportation Process for Mothers and Children
- Courts Continue to Reject Arizona Style Laws, Even as House Embraces SAFE Act
- Here Are Some of the Stories of Women Held at Artesia
- Why We are Suing the Government on Behalf of All Children Facing Deportation
- District Court Decides Some TPS Beneficiaries May Finally Become Lawful Permanent Residents
- SCOTUS Decides Immigrants Can “Age-Out” of Visa Petitions
- The DACA Renewal Process: Everything You Need to Know
- CBP Releases Report Critical of Agency, Issues Updated Use of Force Policy
- Summary Removal Procedures and Their Role in Rising Deportations
- New Data Show More Than Half a Million Immigrants Granted DACA
- Drop in Court-Ordered Deportations Means Little to Overall Deportation Numbers
- USCIS Releases Information About DACA Renewal Process
- Circuit Court Ruling Affirms Detainers Not Mandatory
- New Directive Clarifies Existing Use of Force Policy at CBP
- Customs and Border Protection Conceals Scathing Audit of Border Patrol’s Use of Force Policy
- What the DACA Renewal Process Should Look Like
- Petition Challenges DHS on Enforcement Priorities
- The Washington Post Exposes Sorry State of Immigration Courts
- Miranda-like Warning for Immigrants Argued in Ninth Circuit
- Why Is There a Disparity in DACA Application Rates Among Different Nationalities?
- Supreme Court Considers Restrictive Interpretation of Child Status Protection Act
- The Punishment Should Fit the Crime for Immigrants, Too
- Keeping CBP In Line With Proposed Reforms
- Understanding DACA's Education Requirement
- Supreme Court to Interpret Child Status Protection Act
- New York City Pilots Free Legal Representation in Immigration Court