In these photos provided by the Governor’s Office, Gov. Susana Martinez talks to youths Saturday, during her tour of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia. Martinez said the situation at the facility is “a 100 percent federal issue.” (Courtesy Photos)
After touring the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Artesia Saturday, Gov. Susana Martinez said the government has to address “the humanitarian consequence” caused by the false belief that once immigrants have made it to the U.S. that they can stay.
“In his first year of office Obama had control of the House and Senate he broke his promise to fix immigration,” Martinez said.
Along with state and federal officials, Martinez visited the facility, which is temporarily housing hundreds of women and children who entered the U.S. illegally.
“Washington is dysfunctional,” Martinez said. “This [FLETC] is no place for young mothers and babies. One is just 11 months old!”
Many of the immigrants now housed at FLETC were severely dehydrated when they first arrived after a journey that for most took 18 days.
Martinez stressed that what is needed is a comprehensive immigration plan, not “piece-meal efforts,” such as partial deportations or the Dream Act.
“This is a 100 percent federal issue,” she said.
The governor was asked if she had considered activating the state’s National Guard to active duty — not in an enforcement role but as a presence to deter border crossing. Governors have the authority to mobilize the National Guard for state emergencies such as fires, floods, civil unrest and other threats to the citizens.
Gregory Fouratt, cabinet secretary of the New Mexico Department of Public Safety, explained that the expanded number of illegal entries occurs near McAllen, Texas, not in New Mexico. Therefore, it remains a federal issue and not a state emergency.
Martinez interjected, “We used to have the National Guard on the border, but Sen. (Martin) Heinrich cut the budget saying the border is secure.”
Likewise, U.S. Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., made headlines and raised eyebrows Tuesday when he declared the border is secure.
In addition to Secretary Fouratt, Gregory Meyers, the cabinet secretary of the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management also was in the governor’s party.
When asked about broadcasting correct information directly to the citizens of the home nations of the illegal aliens, Meyers and Fouratt replied that yes the “feds” are doing that.
Moreover, when each person calls back to report that they are being sent home, that is the message that is most effective in deterring others from attempting the adventure. The cabinet chiefs also responded that measures are being taken to identify and prevent diseases and epidemics.
Martinez acknowledged that instruction will be provided by the U.S. government and portable classrooms will be arriving at FLETC.