The Whole Picture: ICE Raids in Mississippi

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The Whole Picture: ICE Raids in Mississippi

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Charlotte Spears, Editor-in-Chief

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Last week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided seven food processing plants in Mississippi and arrested 680 workers. Different news and media outlets covered this event with different emphases. 

 

The Fox News take:

https://www.foxnews.com/us/ice-raids-on-mississippi-food-processing-plants-result-in-680-arrests

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.”

 

The New York Times take:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/07/us/ice-raids-mississippi.html

Federal agents raided several companies across Mississippi on Wednesday, rounding up hundreds of immigrant workers in what federal officials said might be the largest worksite enforcement action ever in a single state.

In a coordinated sting, more than 600 agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement showed up at the sites with federal warrants that allowed them to search the premises. About 680 immigrants who were believed to be working without legal documentation were apprehended and taken away on buses.

Lindsay Williams, a spokesman for the agency, said the federal agents executed the search warrants in conjunction with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi.

 

The Clarion-Ledger take (Mississippi newspaper):

https://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/local/2019/08/07/immigration-ice-raids-hit-mississippi-food-processing-plants/1945057001/

MORTON — U.S. immigration officials raided numerous Mississippi food processing plants Wednesday, arresting 680 mostly Latino workers in what marked the largest workplace sting in at least a decade.

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.

 

The National Public Radio take:

https://www.npr.org/2019/08/08/749303290/large-ice-raids-in-mississippi

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

U.S. Immigration and Customs agents carried out the largest statewide workplace enforcement operation in U.S. history yesterday. It was a highly coordinated sting. Hundreds of agents surrounded seven food processing plants across Mississippi. About 680 employees, the majority of them Latino, were arrested and transported to a military hangar.

In addition to the arrests, agents also seized company business records. At a press conference yesterday, Mike Hurst, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, said this about the operation.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MIKE HURST: But while we do welcome folks from other countries, they have to follow our laws. They have to abide by our rules. They have to come here legally, or they shouldn’t come here at all.

 

Associated Press take:

https://www.apnews.com/bbcef8ddae4e4303983c91880559cf23/gallery/1625e8dfe06f4e18b871dd8bb225d2a4

MORTON, Miss. (AP) — U.S. immigration officials raided seven Mississippi chicken processing plants Wednesday, arresting 680 mostly Latino workers in the largest workplace sting in at least a decade.

The raids, planned months ago, happened just hours before President Donald Trump visited El Paso, Texas, the majority-Latino border city where a man linked to an online screed about a “Hispanic invasion” was charged in a shooting that left 22 people dead.

AP Follow-Up:

https://www.apnews.com/e7113c50a6fd4d2688fc2f2b8a9a91cd

HOUSTON (AP) — The images of children crying after their parents were arrested in a massive immigration raid in Mississippi revived a longstanding complaint: Unauthorized workers are jailed or deported, while the managers and business owners who profit from their labor often go unprosecuted.

Under President Donald Trump, the number of business owners and managers who face criminal charges for employing unauthorized workers has stayed almost the same, even as almost every other enforcement measure has surged.

 

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