U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested 680 undocumented workers in various food- processing plants in Mississippi. The raid, that was the biggest single operation in ICE history, happened on Wednesday 7th August.
Among the food-processing plants that were raided, some of them belonged to one of the biggest food producers in the USA – Koch Foods Inc. The raids happened in 6 various Mississippi cities, and there were seven plants raided. There were almost 700 people arrested, mostly Latinos. Raided plants belonged to five food companies, among the most famous ones was not only Koch Foods Inc. but also Peco Foods Inc., which is the 8th biggest poultry producer in the United States.
During the raids, ICE agents not only arrested illegal workers and send them to the Mississippi National Guard's hangar in Flowood, located close to Jackson. Agents also seized company business records for possible further investigation.
Mike Hurst, U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of Mississippi, resumed it: "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."
ICE dedicated lots of its resources for this raid. It is said that there were over 600 agents deployed, that were meant to prevent workers from escaping. They were deployed in the perimeters of the targeted plants.
The raids happened just when President Donald Trump was traveling to El Paso, to commemorate the victims of the last mass shooting, where 22 people were killed. The acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Matthew Albence said that there was "no connection" between the timing of these two events.
He added, that the raids were the"long-term operation that's been going on" and the operations "are based on evidence", just like they "are being done on a racially neutral basis."