July 30 First News: Immigrant Deportations Halted Due to Chicken Pox Outbreak (Listen)

Jul 30, 2014

A New Mexico congressman says the deportation of immigrants from a detention facility in Artesia have been temporarily stopped because of chicken pox. Representative Steve Pearce says that the immigrant women and children at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers are being treated and vaccinated. But Pearce says two people at the facility had to be put in isolation because of the chicken pox virus. He says he's worried about the health and safety of the woman and children held at FLETC as the facility reaches maximum capacity. Pearce also says Eastern New Mexico Regional Medical Center in Roswell now will be used by FLETC for patient care instead of Artesia General Hospital. Department of Homeland Security officials didn't immediately return calls Tuesday night about the situation at Artesia.

A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds two-thirds of Americans now say illegal immigration is a serious problem for the country, a figure that's up 14 points since May. Fifty-one percent of Americans support changing U.S. law so that all children apprehended when entering the country illegally are treated the same as those from Mexico or Canada, who can be sent back to their home countries by Border Patrol agents without going through a deportation hearing. More than 57-thousand unaccompanied immigrant children have entered the U.S. illegally since October, drawing the nation's attention back to immigration. Attempts last year and earlier this year to pass comprehensive immigration reform foundered. But a majority of Americans still say they support a path to citizenship for those already living in the U.S. illegally.

The New Mexico Department of Corrections is set to announce a new program aimed at combatting drunken driving in the state. Correction officials are scheduled Wednesday to unveil a new partnership with various law enforcement agencies on battling DWI in New Mexico.State records show there are almost 500 people serving prison time in New Mexico for DWI-related convictions. Around 100 of those were convicted of vehicular homicide or causing great bodily harm. Preliminary numbers show New Mexico saw 133 fatal alcohol-related crashes last year, a nearly 14 percent drop from 2012. That's the lowest number of annual alcohol-related traffic deaths recorded in the state and marked a 38 percent decline from a decade ago.

The historic D.H. Lawrence Ranch in Taos County is reopening to the public. Officials Tuesday announced that the University of New Mexico, the D.H. Lawrence Ranch Alliance and the Taos Community Foundation have reached an agreement that will open the ranch for the first time in four years. Visiting hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday through October. Under the agreement, the Taos Community Foundation established a grant to hire a UNM staff member who will provide public tours and information of the property. The D.H. Lawrence Ranch Alliance is also working with UNM-Taos to create a volunteer docent program to staff the ranch on a regular basis. D.H. Lawrence was a renowned 19th century writer and artist. His wife, Frieda, gave the ranch to UNM after his death.

New Mexico Attorney General Gary King says he will ask the Supreme Court to settle a dispute over contributions to his Democratic gubernatorial campaign. Republican Secretary of State Diana Duran has written King asking him to return three donations that she says exceeded the state's contribution limits by nearly 11-thousand dollars. King insists the donations are lawful, and says Duran's office is politically motivated. He told The Albuquerque Journal he will ask the state's high court to decide the issue. The issue centers on the timing of the contributions. They were made weeks after the June 3rd primary election, and Duran contends that contributions for the primary election cycle cannot be accepted after that election. Duran denies any partisan motivation.

Santa Fe Weather: Partly sunny today with a high near 83 with scattered showers and thunderstorms. Tonight: Mostly cloudy with the low down to 57 with scattered showers and thunderstorms. Tomorrow: Scattered showers and thunderstorms and a high of 76. The chance of precipitation is 40-percent today and tonight, it rises to 50-percent tomorrow.