U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said Wednesday that its officers had raided seven food processing plants in Mississippi and detained approximately 680 “removable aliens” in what a federal prosecutor described as “the largest single-state immigration enforcement operation in our nation’s history.”
Nearly 600 ICE agents swarmed the plants in Bay Springs, Carthage, Canton, Morton, Pelahatchie and Sebastapol, surrounding the perimeters to keep workers from fleeing.
“The execution of federal search warrants today was simply about enforcing the rule of law in our state and throughout our great country,” U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst said in a statement. ” I commend these federal agents, our state and local law enforcement partners, and our federal prosecutors for their professionalism and dedication to ensure that those who violate our laws are held accountable.”
In Morton, 40 miles east of Jackson, workers filled three buses — two for men and one for women — at a Koch Foods Inc. plant. Workers had their wrists tied with plastic bands and were told to deposit personal belongings in clear plastic bags. Agents collected the bags before they boarded buses. About 70 family, friends and residents waved goodbye and shouted, “Let them go! Let them go!” Later, two more buses arrived.
Workers who were confirmed to have legal status were allowed to leave the plant after having their trunks searched. Some employees tried to flee on foot but were captured in the parking lot. – READ MORE