Protesters Clash in Artesia Over Immigrant Detention Facility

Protesters Clash in Artesia Over Immigrant Detention Facility

by Kim Powell
NewsWest 9

ARTESIA - Protesters clashed Sunday afternoon in Artesia as over one hundred people gathered to protest the detention facility that is housing undocumented women and children.

Chants could be heard all over town as the two sides took to the streets.

"I'm here as a citizen of our country, just in support of these children and these families. We really need to be working on getting immigration reform," Geraldine Franco, who protested on Sunday, said.

"We are not glorified babysitters. They need to close the borders. We cannot afford to do this anymore," Teresa Edwards, who was also at the protest on Sunday, said.

Somos Un Pueblo Unido, an immigrant's rights organization, first gathered at a park for a prayer rally where they made signs and listened to speakers.

"Do we want to repeat in 2014 what was repeated in 1939 where we're sending women and children back to horrific conditions, to brutality, to be abused, to be exploited? We don't want that," one speaker said.

They then marched to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center where hundreds of immigrant women and children are being detained. That's when they eventually met up with the opposing side.

"We're American citizens, we all have a right to march. That's the good thing about being an American," one protester said.

The two sides crossed paths in a chanting war. The group, Stand By Americans, waved American flags and followed the hundreds of picketers who stopped at the fence where so many families, who attempted to cross the Texas border, are waiting to be processed.

"They need to be working on passing laws and getting reform into place so that these people have a method and a pathway to citizenship, so they can be treated in a just manner," Franco said.