ICE Raids in Ms. Make Up Biggest Immigration Operation in a State

August 8, 2019

Imagn Content Services, LLC


By Gabriela Arevalo


U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested approximately 680 people across six cities in Mississippi on Wednesday, in what officials stay is the biggest job site immigration operation in one state in the history of the United States.

The raids were conducted at seven work sites, specifically agricultural processing plants, and were part of a year-long investigation that focused on undocumented workers. Officials have not released information about how many people were the primary focus of the raids and how many people were collateral arrests.

Matthew Albence, the interim director of ICE, said in a press conference that some of the people who were arrested will be deported, others will be criminally processed, and others will be released pending immigration trials.

The operation was executed in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi and focused not only on people working in the United States without authority, but also employers who knowingly hired them.

The arrested are not the only people affected by the raids- some of them have children, many of them who were born in the United States, who found themselves suddenly alone. In the videos below you can see children crying in the street, unsure of what will happen to their parents.

Excitement for what was for many of the children the first day of school quickly turned to uncertainty as they returned home without family waiting for them. The community put together a temporary shelter in a local gym, but according to reports, many were devastated and unable to eat.

A spokesperson for ICE said that the arrested were allowed to use cell phones to coordinate childcare, and that local schools were notified when the raids began. They also noted that people who indicated that they had dependents “and are not being arrested for criminal reasons or subject to mandatory detainment will be processed quickly.”

An analysis of ICE data by the American Immigration Council indicates that ICE has expanded its efforts under the Trump administration in search of “individuals who may be deportable from the United States.”