Currents News Staff
Hundreds of people were detained in Mississippi last week in a massive sweep by ICE targeting undocumented workers.
One of those workers is now speaking out about his experience.
Juan Garcia works at PECO Foods in Canton. He says Wednesday morning he was just finishing his shift when ICE agents raided the facility.
“All I saw was Glocks. 223’s. The Glocks and the handguns. they had them out. They just told me to keep my hands up. put them above my head and don’t move,” said Garcia.
PECO Foods was one of seven food plants in Mississippi raided by Homeland Security officials in an effort to find undocumented workers.
In total, 680 people were detained that day.
Garcia says he was able to prove his citizenship to agents inside the chicken plant, but not before finding his father, who was undocumented.
His father has worked at PECO Foods for nearly ten years.
“I’m trying to find my dad. See if he’s ok. Then I looked outside. I seen him. They put him in handcuffs,” said Garcia.
Garcia says his family was recently able to locate his father in Natchez. He says the plant is suffering from the effects of the raid.
“I cried plenty times. I told myself – I know my dad don’t wanna see me crying, he wants to see me smiling. But Without us, the plant ain’t gonna run. It hasn’t been running right,” said Garcia.
Another PECO Food’s Worker, Zach Gamlin, said “I understand you trying to clean the streets for danger but at the same time, people there was just making an honest living though. They was just trying to do their job and feed their family. You stopped them from doing all that.”
For now, Garcia says he and his family will have to wait it out. He hopes his father will make it back.
He has a message for those whose loved ones were detained during the raid.
“If they were to ask me. Just keep your head up. Be patient, cause they’ll be ok,” he said.