The largest single-state worksite immigration raid in American history took place today. Under orders from openly racist U.S. president Donald Trump, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents arrested 680 Latinx people who worked at numerous food processing plants throughout the state of Mississippi.
US Atty Mike Hurst announces today's immigration raids led to detention of approx. 680 people at 7 sites in 6 cities in MS, setting a new record in a single state. @MSTODAYnews pic.twitter.com/C4A3pDQ5oI
— Michelle Liu (@mchelleliu) August 7, 2019
The arrestees are identified as being Latinx.
The raids are racially targeted, but ICE denies it.
Think of the detainees' children, spouses, grandparents, and other dependents tonight.
ICE clustered the raids in various small towns near Jackson, where the labor workforce is almost entirely immigrants from central America and Mexico. Communities that were raided today include the towns of Bay Springs, Carthage, Canton, Morton, Pelahatchie and Sebastapol.
"About 600 agents fanned out across the plants involving several companies, surrounding the perimeters to prevent workers from fleeing," AP reports.
The raids, planned months ago, happened just hours before President Donald Trump was scheduled to visit El Paso, Texas, the majority-Latino city where a man linked to an online screed about a "Hispanic invasion" was charged in a shooting that left 22 people dead in the border city.
Workers filled three buses — two for men and one for women — at a Koch Foods Inc. plant in tiny Morton, 40 miles east of Jackson. They were taken to a military hangar to be processed for immigration violations. About 70 family, friends and residents waved goodbye and shouted, "Let them go! Let them go!" Later, two more buses arrived.
A tearful 13-year-old boy whose parents are from Guatemala waved goodbye to his mother, a Koch worker, as he stood beside his father. Some employees tried to flee on foot but were captured in the parking lot.
Saying this louder: Today's immigration raids in Mississippi were the largest single-state ICE enforcement operation in history.
THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
— ACLU (@ACLU) August 7, 2019
— Héctor Jiménez Landín (@JimenezLandin) August 7, 2019
These people are horribly mistreated by their soulless employers for the privilege of living in a country where their kids will come home from Mississippi's first day of public school to empty houses, like something out of a nightmare https://t.co/9uJyhSXNKD
— Sam Thielman (@samthielman) August 7, 2019