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Homeland secretary visits immigrant holding center

Posted: Updated:
By JUAN CARLOS LLORCA
Associated Press

ARTESIA, N.M. (AP) - Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson visited a New Mexico immigrant detention facility and warned future migrants that "we will send you back" if they try crossing into the country.

Johnson said the agency is working rapidly to open new detention facilities to house and more quickly deport the influx of immigrants fleeing violence, poverty and extortion in Central America.

After touring the recently opened center in Artesia, New Mexico, he said staff told him that some of the immigrants told them they were surprised to be detained.

More than 57,000 Central Americans have crossed since October, overwhelming Border Patrol facilities in South Texas.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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