- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 21, 2014

ARTESIA, N.M. (AP) - Immigrant rights advocacy groups are suing the Department of Homeland Security to release information on their policies and procedures at an isolated detention center for Central American mothers and children in New Mexico.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other immigration advocates filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit Tuesday after DHS failed to respond to an information request in a timely manner.

In August, ACLU and other groups filed a lawsuit challenging the expedited removal process in Artesia, calling it a “deportation mill.”

Tuesday’s FOIA lawsuit comes a week after ICE Artesia’s mayor released figures showing that ICE’s releasing more people that it deports from the detention center.

At the time, ICE has not responded to an information request from last week about those figures.

ICE officials issued a statement Tuesday night that they don’t comment on pending litigation.

“However, historically we have released significant amounts of information regarding our family residential centers. ICE hosted about 30 members of our ICE Non-Governmental Working Group at the Artesia Family Residential Center in Artesia in July,” the statement said. “We have a strong working relationship with members of this group. We have frequently provided these members information and updates about the facility and its policies.”

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