U.S. Immigration Agents Arrest 680 Workers at Mississippi Plants

Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Handout via REUTERS

U.S. immigration authorities arrested nearly 700 people at seven agricultural processing plants across Mississippi on Wednesday in what federal officials said could be the largest worksite enforcement operation in a single state.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said in a statement they detained about 680 people who were working illegally at the plants. They said they also seized business records as part of a federal criminal investigation.

Some of those detained will be released for “humanitarian reasons” and required to appear in U.S. immigration court, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Mississippi, which partnered with ICE, said in a statement. Others will be transported to an ICE facility in Jena, Louisiana, it said.

A video released by ICE showed buses arriving at a Canton, Mississippi, processing facility where agents searched workers and checked their identification documents. Some workers had their hands restrained with nylon ties, the video showed.

ICE did not specify the nationalities of the workers arrested. The Mexican Consulate said it was traveling to the area to assist its nationals who might have been involved.

Past large operations to enforce immigration laws at workplaces have included the arrest in 2008 of more than 300 workers at a kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa.

During the administration of former President Barack Obama, ICE prioritized the arrests of recent border crossers, people who had previously been ordered deported and those seen as a threat to public safety.

President Donald Trump has made cracking down on illegal immigration a centerpiece of his presidency, however, and ICE has stepped up its activities considerably since he took office in January 2017.

ICE said it has made more than 2,300 criminal and administrative arrests related to workplaces in the 2018 fiscal year, which ended in September, compared to just over 300 in the previous year.

Among the facilities targeted in Wednesday’s operation was a Peco Foods processing plant in Canton. On its website, Peco Foods says it is the 8th largest poultry producer in the United States.

Tom Super, spokesman for the National Chicken Council, an industry group, said meat processing companies do their best to hire legal workers.

“The chicken industry uses every tool in the tool box to ensure a legal workforce,” Super said.

(Reporting by Kristina Cooke in San Francisco and Mica Rosenberg in New York; additional reporting by Thomas Polansek in Chicago and Lizbeth Diaz in Mexico City; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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Screwtape
Member

WHC, I made it through six annual terms. My community has/had a strong conservative core including a lot of LDS. Now it’s a lot of ex-Portlanders and coastal Californians. They are literally too stupid to realize the conditions they created and fled should not be duplicated in their new homes.

Screwtape
Member

WHC,

Nah. Fine them into bankruptcy then sentence them to spend more time among the illegals they love so well. (illegals comprise between 14-30% of the prison population, depending on state and/or federal lock up. They are beating the black population on overachievement in this respect)

WellHungChad
Member

I hope Peco Foods and the ones in charge are deported along with their illegals!

Screwtape
Member

Good. Put the fear of laws and ICE in them. Let them weigh that against their profits from being here illegally. Now start taxing remittances to Mexico, South and Central America. Does 70%+ sound right? It’s the same that the Left wants to tax our wealthy CITIZENS. They’ve already started rolling up entitlements meant for citizens via denying Section 8 and subsidized housing. Make them unwelcome unless they are here legally. Deprive them of income and STOP letting taxpayers educate their children to the detriment of our own. (various studies show they overcrowd AND drain resources for both ESL and… Read more »

Otis
Member

Quite a round-up but they are being released as I type. Why go to the expense of a raid? Congress is ineffectual. Western Union likely has mixed feelings on the issue as they are the main way U.S. dollars are sent southward.

Screwtape
Member

“The chicken industry uses every tool in the tool box to ensure a legal workforce,”

Chicken manure.

Here’s why putting gigantic fines and criminal charges are needed, eVerify or not.

Screwtape
Member

” The Mexican Consulate said it was traveling to the area to assist its nationals who might have been involved.”

Here’s a thought for the consulate: help your people LEGALLY apply for work visas. No? Why not? The Mexican economy would take a hit without remittances? (estimated at greater than 1/3rd of the entire economy).

James
Member

OUTSTANDING!! NOW, haul their butts to the border in semi-dump trucks and dump them in Mexico. Then,close Peco Foods down.

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