US immigration authorities have detained some 680 undocumented immigrants believed to be working without authorization at seven sites in six different cities in Mississippi on Wednesday, at food-processing plants throughout the state.
Most of the workers arrested are Latino. More than 600 ICE agents were involved in the raids. It was the largest single-state immigration enforcement operation in America until now. The arrests came as a result of administrative and criminal search warrants executed by special agents from Homeland Security Investigations. "These are not new laws, nor is the enforcement of them new," acting ICE director Matt Albence said Wednesday. The arrested workers were bused to a local Mississippi National Guard hangar where they were interviewed about their immigration status, including whether they already had deportation orders.
"They have to come here legally or they shouldn’t come here at all, U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst of the Southern District of Mississippi said. "Several local officials criticized the operation. Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, as an example, called the raids "dehumanizing and ineffective.” Others were concerned about the impact the arrests would have on the local economy. Another concern was what happens to the children. PresidentTrump has long railed against illegal immigration.