U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents made the largest one-day raid in U.S. history. According to reports, 680 undocumented workers were arrested in massive raids at seven food processing plants in Mississippi.
Federal officials say the raids are the largest ever single state immigration enforcement operation. 600 agents fanned out across small towns near Jackson, rounding up undocumented workers at seven food processing plants on Wednesday, Aug. 7.
Agents swarmed the plants soon after the undocumented workers clocked in to begin their morning shifts. Hundreds of agents surrounded the plants to prevent the illegal immigrants from escaping.
After word of the massive raids filtered out in the news media, U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst emailed a statement to The Associated Press that reads:
"U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations special agents are executing federal search warrants today at multiple locations across the state of Mississippi as part of a coordinated operation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi pursuant to ongoing HSI administrative and criminal investigations."
In June, President Trump announced ICE agents would conduct massive raids to remove "millions" of illegal aliens.
But after public backlash on social media, the planned raids never materialized.
Acting ICE director Mark Morgan told ABC News the raids were being conducted to remove immigrants who lost their immigration appeals and were given final deportation orders to leave - but they never left the country.
"This is not about fear. No one is instilling fear in anyone," he said. "This is about the rule of law and maintaining the integrity of the system."
Morgan added: "Once you receive due process and get a final order, you will be removed."
Update: 300 of the 680 detainees have been released, according to the Clarion Ledger. ICE announced the 300 detainees - mostly women whose children were in schools - were released the same day.
NEW: ICE arrested around 680 undocumented immigrants in a massive worksite operation in Mississippi Wednesday -- officials say it is the largest ever single state immigration enforcement operation.
— Hamed Aleaziz (@Haleaziz) August 7, 2019
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