U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Wednesday its officers detained roughly 680 “removable aliens” after raiding seven food processing plants in Mississippi.
"The execution of federal search warrants today was simply about enforcing the rule of law in our state and throughout our great country," U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst said in a statement. "I commend these federal agents, our state and local law enforcement partners, and our federal prosecutors for their professionalism and dedication to ensure that those who violate our laws are held accountable."
The operation, which involved nearly 600 agents, targeted plants in Bay Springs, Carthage, Canton, Morton, Pelahatchie and Sebastapol.
"All the unlawfully present foreign nationals arrested Wednesday are being interviewed by ICE staff to record any potential mitigating humanitarian situations," ICE said in a statement. "Based on these interviews, and consideration of their criminality and prior immigration history, ICE is determining on a case-by-case basis based on the totality of the circumstances which individuals will be detained and which persons may be released from custody at present."
Jere Miles, HSI New Orleans Special Agent in Charge, said in a statement that enforcement efforts are focused on both the illegal alien employees and the employers who hired them knowing their immigration status.
In addition to executing federal search warrants & seizing business records pertaining to the ongoing federal criminal investigation, deportation officers with ICE ERO in partnership with HSI detained approximately 680 removable aliens who were unlawfully working at the plants pic.twitter.com/JORXd7NAYy— ICE (@ICEgov) August 8, 2019
ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) executed multiple federal criminal search warrants at seven agricultural processing plants across Mississippi Wednesday morning as part of an ongoing HSI worksite enforcement criminal investigation https://t.co/R1jQoGwuuB pic.twitter.com/XwTSgyp5B5— ICE (@ICEgov) August 8, 2019
This HSI-led operation was conducted in coordination with the @SDMSNews, of which @USAttyHurst will prosecute any resulting federal criminal charges. https://t.co/R1jQoGwuuB pic.twitter.com/POqqgfMkdz— ICE (@ICEgov) August 8, 2019