July 11 First News: U.S. Homeland Security Chief To Visit Artesia Today (Listen)

Jul 11, 2014

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced that Secretary Jeh Johnson will visit a temporary immigration detention center in Artesia today. The department said Johnson will tour the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center today. He also is scheduled to meet with officials in Texas about the surge in Central American immigrants along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last month, the Obama administration announced plans to convert the Artesia facility into one of several temporary sites being established to deal with the influx of women and children fleeing gang violence and poverty in Central America. The three barracks at the Artesia site can hold nearly 700 people as they await deportation or seek asylum. Area residents have protested the opening of facility while Catholic groups are working to provide help.

Meantime, a possible deal in Congress would allow unauthorized Central American immigrants to be deported as speedily as Mexicans.  KSFRs Dave Marash has the story:  *****0:51*****

Amtrak's top executive is to travel through New Mexico tomorrow to meet with officials about keeping the Southwest Chief on its current route. But New Mexico Transportation Department spokeswoman Melissa Dosher says no state official plans to meet with Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman because the administration never received a formal invitation. Boardman is taking a special train along the Southwest Chief route from Kansas to Albuquerque. Amtrak has warned that the route might be changed unless portions of the track are improved. Amtrak proposes that New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas share track expenses. Boardman will stop Saturday at Raton, Las Vegas and Lamy. He's to meet with local officials and will go by car to the Philmont Scout Ranch. New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich will travel with Boardman.

Speaking of Senator Heinrich, he’s back from a trip to the Middle East. Heinrich’s multi-nation itinerary took him to Jordan, which, he told KSFR, is being flooded with refugees from Iraq *****071114-Heinrich-1 :17***** Heinrich is a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

A New Mexico county magistrate race that ended in a tie has finally come to a head, or rather, heads. Kenneth Howard Jr. made the lucky call in a coin toss in a Gallup courtroom this week, winning a four-year term as McKinley County magistrate judge. The Gallup Independent reports that a recount of the June 3rd Democratic primary found Howard and Robert Baca each received exactly the same number of votes—28-hundred and 79 in this case. State law mandates a tie must be decided by lot. A Democratic Party official tossed a 50-cent piece, and Howard got to make the call as the candidate who was lower on the ballot. Since there's no opponent on the general election ballot, Howard gets the job. Baca says he's disappointed by the result but relieved that both candidates finally know who won.

Santa Fe Weather: Partly sunny today and tomorrow with highs in the low 80s. There’s a 40-percent chance for showers and thunderstorms today, 30-percent tomorrow. Tonight: expect partly cloudy skies with an overnight low of 61 and a 30-percent chance for showers and thunderstorms.