U.S. immigration officials raided seven Mississippi chicken processing plants on Wednesday. Anti-Trump news organizations like NBC News attempted to tie the mass shooting in an El Paso Wal Mart last week to the ICE raid, pointing out that the shooter’s manifesto railed against the “invasion” of Hispanic immigrants. The local Jackson Free Press also attempted to tie Trump and the El Paso killer to the ICE raids, while publishing a quote from the president of a Mississippi immigration rights group, claiming the term, “illegal alien” is the equivalent of the “n-word.”
NBC News -Immigration enforcement authorities raided food processing plants across Mississippi on Wednesday, picking up 680 workers in what was being billed as the biggest single-day, one-state sweep in U.S. history, officials said.
The raids hit seven plants in six cities, and most of the workers arrested are Latino.
“While we are a nation of immigrants, more than that, first and foremost, we are a nation of laws,” said U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst of the Southern District of Mississippi. “They have to come here legally or they shouldn’t come here at all.”
Hurst also chastised businesses for using undocumented immigrants.
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“To those who use illegal aliens for competitive advantage or to make a quick buck, we have something to say to you: If we find that you have violated federal criminal law, we’re coming after you,” he said.
The long-planned raids unfolded as President Donald Trump traveled to El Paso, Texas, where 22 people were killed Saturday — allegedly by a man linked to an online screed about the “invasion” of Hispanic immigrants.
Chron reports- About 600 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents fanned out across the plants operated by five companies, surrounding the perimeters to prevent workers from fleeing.
In Morton, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) east of the capital of Jackson, workers filled three buses — two for men and one for women — at a Koch Foods Inc. plant.
Those arrested were taken to a military hangar to be processed for immigration violations. About 70 families, friends, and residents waved goodbye and shouted, “Let them go! Let them go!” Later, two more buses arrived.
A tearful 13-year-old boy whose parents are from Guatemala waved goodbye to his mother, a Koch worker, as he stood beside his father. Some employees tried to flee on foot but were captured in the parking lot.
Jackson Free Press- Advocates at the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance, or MIRA, spent Wednesday afternoon scrambling to answer calls from distressed family members and to find out exactly what was happening. “We’re now trying to deal with schools because of the children that may be left behind by ICE,” MIRA President Bill Chandler said.
As MIRA understands it, Chandler said, ICE will “sort” the detainees at a facility in Jena, La. Some who have prior violations or have committed felonies will be locked up in facilities to await deportation trials, while others will be returned to their homes at some point with ankle bracelets. That is tantamount to “house arrest,” he said. He added that he doubts agents will find many if any, felons among those arrested today.
“We’re trying to put together all the pieces of what (Hurst and an ICE representative) were saying. They were not real clear at the conference,” Chandler said. “But we have been talking to the relatives of the victims, so we’ll know more later on.”
In Hurst’s press conference on Tuesday, he said the raids were simply about upholding the law.
“While we are a nation of immigrants, more than that we are first and foremost, a nation of laws. The rule of law is the bedrock, the very foundation of our great country. Without law, there is no order. Without the enforcement of law, there is no justice,” said Hurst, whom Donald Trump nominated to the post in 2017.
Hurst suggested more raids may be coming and said that employers who hire undocumented immigrants should watch out.
“For those who take advantage of illegal aliens, to those who use illegal aliens for competitive advantage or to make a quick buck, we have something to say to you. If we find that you have violated federal criminal law, we’re coming after you,” Hurst said.
Chandler called Hurst out for what he called “racist language.”
“When you use the term ‘illegal alien,’ that is no different than using the n-word,” Chandler told the Jackson Free Press.
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