SANTA FE, N.M.—A new school year is about to start for kids across New Mexico.
That includes the children staying in the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia, which has been remodeled to house up to 700 immigrants, nearly all of whom came to the United States from Central America.
But who has been contracted to teach and how much it will cost is not so easy to discover.
Multiple attempts emailing and calling federal officials at the facility as well as the office of Artesia Mayor Phil Burch produced no response.
Shortly after the facility was refurbished in late June to accommodate the immigrants, officials with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement told elected officials in the Artesia area that children would receive educational instruction.
Few specifics were spelled out.
“As of last Tuesday, they said the education question was still on the table,” said J.R. Doporto, a city councilor from nearby Carlsbad who attends weekly meetings DHS and ICE officials hold with local lawmakers. “It is slated to be done with a contractor, but that’s all I know.”
The superintendent at Artesia Public Schools said his school district will not be involved.
“We have nothing to do with educating any of those students,” superintendent Crit Caton said in a brief telephone interview. “It’s all in-house, with ICE. … As a matter of fact, they haven’t asked anything from us, services, whatever. They’re doing everything in-house, within their confines.”