Currents News Staff
U.S. immigration officials made a record-setting bust in Mississippi as close to 700 undocumented immigrants were taken into custody Wednesday.
All were captured in what a Mississippi official says might be “the largest single-state immigration enforcement operation” in U.S. history.
“Now while we are a nation of immigrants more than that we are first and foremost a nation of laws,” said U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst.
Immigration officials took about 680 people into custody at seven food processing plants in six-communities in the central part of the state.
“We do have a lot of immigrants here in Canton and I don’t know whether they’re legal or illegal,” said Canton Mayor William Truly Jr.
These arrests come after a year-long criminal investigation by Homeland Security officials.
I.C.E. officials say the agency has previously worked with school liaisons in finding placement for children whose parents are detained.
“I just hope that they everything works out and everybody can have their families back. Because this is a very hard time for everybody,” said Desiree Hughes, a worker at Morton Plant.
Peco Foods Inc, the company that owns a number of facilities where the arrests were made, said in a statement that it is cooperating with officials.
Jackson’s Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said these raids were “dehumanizing and ineffective.”
Canton’s mayor said he was worried about the children and the impact of the arrests on the local economy.
Some of the undocumented immigrants have already been released, according to I.C.E.