Immigration Detention Justice Center

Otero County Processing Center

The Otero County Processing Center, also known as the Otero County Detention Center, is located in Chaparral, New Mexico, just a 40-minute drive from El Paso, Texas. The Otero facility is a local jail owned by the County of Otero, which contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement pursuant to an intergovernmental services agreement (IGSA). The facility, built in 2008, had bed space for 1,086 inmates, and holds on average 839 adult males and 0 females. The vast majority — 98% — of inmates at Otero County are transferred from another ICE detention facility. In other words, they are arrested by ICE and booked into another ICE facility before ending up in Otero.

Contact Information

Contacting the Facility

Address:

Otero County Processing Center
26 McGregor Range Road
Chaparral, New Mexico 88081

Phone:

(575) 824-4143

Contacting A Detainee

To speak to a detainee by phone, call the facility’s main desk at (915)834-5218 and request that the detainee call you back. (Unfortunately, the facility will not connect you directly to the person.) Note: free calls are not allowed. The detainee will not be able to make phone calls to family members without money in his commissary account.

To deposit money in the person’s account, you can either pay online or over the phone. To pay online, visit www.govknow.com. You will be asked to enter a Pay Location Code. For Otero County, this number is 5500. Afterwards you will need to enter the ICE detainee’s name and under “Booking #” enter the person’s alien number. If you wish to pay by phone, call 1-888-277-2535. A live representative will ask you for the person’s booking number, which in the case of an immigration detainee is the person’s alien number.

To visit the a person held at the Otero County Processing Center, you must go during correct visitation hours.

Weekday visitation hours.

  • For inmates whose last names start with letters A-C, Monday 5:30pm-8pm
  • For inmates whose last names start with letters D-H, Tuesday 5:30pm-8pm
  • For inmates whose last names start with letters I-M, Wednesday 5:30pm-8pm
  • For inmates whose last names start with letters N-R, Thursday 5:30pm-8pm
  • For inmates whose last names start with letters S-Z, Friday 5:30pm-8pm

Weekend Hours:

  • For inmates whose last names start with letters A-L, Saturday 12:00pm-3pm
  • For inmates whose last names start with letters M-Z, Sunday 12:00pm-3pm

Outside the Otero County Processing Center

Outside the Otero County Processing Center

To send mail to the person, use the following address:

Inmate Name and Alien Number
Otero County Processing Center
26 McGregor Range Road
Chaparral, New Mexico 88081

Contacting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

There are a handful of ICE officers that work at Otero. Those officers can be contacted by calling (915)834-5218. and asking to speak to an ICE deportation officer. The head ICE officer at the Otero Immigration Detention Facility is Assistant Field Officer Director Jesus J. Placencia. He reports directly to the El Paso Field Office Director Adrian P. Macias.

Getting Released

Immigration Bonds

ICE will sometimes determine that a a detainee is eligible for release on an immigration bond. (This usually happens when the detainee has a non-serious criminal history.) To find out if ICE has set a bond for someone, call the ICE deportation officers at (915)834-5218. Give the receptionist the person’s full name and alien number and ask to be connected to the ICE deportation officer in charge of the case. Even if ICE has found the person ineligible for bond, the person may still ask an immigration judge for one. Contact an immigration attorney for advice on the matter.

To post bond for someone at the Otero Processing Center, go to any ICE ERO Field Office in the United States with a cashier’s check or money order. To get the person released the fastest, you can post bond directly at the Otero County Processing Center or at the El Paso Processing Center. The El Paso Processing Center is located at:

8915 Montana Avenue
El Paso, Texas 79925

Post-Release

Inmates released from Otero County Processing Center can be dropped off, by request, at the El Paso International Airport.

The Removal Process

Immigration detainees at Otero are almost always placed in removal proceedings, wherein ICE attempts to deport the detainee from the United States. Unless the person has been deported before, he or she is entitled to a hearing before an immigration judge. At the hearing, the person has the opportunity to present a legal defense to removal. In general, the immigrants who fare better in the process are those who have lived a long time in the US and have non-serious criminal backgrounds.

Immigration Court

Otero Processing Center inmates have removal hearings out of the El Paso SPC Immigration Court, which is located inside the El Paso Processing Center. While the judge and attorneys appear at the court in El Paso, the Otero detainees appear via televideo from Otero County. Most recently, the immigration judges presiding over cases at Otero are:

  • Judge Stephen Ruhle
  • Judge Guadalupe Gonzalez

When clients are released from the Otero County Processing Center, their cases are automatically transferred to the El Paso Immigration Court, located at Richard C. White Federal Building at 700 E. San Antonio Ave., Suite 750, El Paso, Texas 79901.

Timeframe

It can take as long as 3 weeks for a person to see an immigration judge from the time that he or she is arrested. Cases of Otero detainees take, on average, 48 days for completion.

Facility Background

The detention center in Otero County was opened in 2008. The facility is run by a private company called the Management and Training Corporation. The facility has received criticism, both internally and externally, for its treatment of immigration detainees. In 2008, the Otero County Processing Center was found deficient in an internal audit of the facility. The audit complained that the facility was lacking in the categories of Food Service, Environmental Health and Safety, and Land Transportation. A 2009 audit declared that those issues were resolved. In 2009 and 2010, the New Mexico office for the ACLU began investigation reports by advocates of detainee mistreatment. The ACLU conducted interviews of more than 200 immigrants. The results of its interviews are documents in a January 2011 report entitled, “Outsourcing Responsibility: The Human Cost of Privatized Immigration Detention in Otero County.” The report details several alleged abuses, including inadequate access to medical care and disrespectful and humiliating treatment by facility staff.

Nearby Facilities

If you are having difficulty locating someone at the Otero County Processing Center, you may want to try contacting any the following ICE detention centers:

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