Monday, 16 September 2019

Hundreds arrested in Mississippi immigration raids

US immigration officials have arrested almost 700 people after a series of raids in the state of Mississippi.

The co-ordinated operations targeted workers at seven agricultural processing plants who allegedly did not have proper documentation.

Some children were taken to a local gym after they came home to find their parents gone. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said “approximately 680 removable aliens” had been detained

US President Donald Trump announced an immigration crackdown in June, saying “millions of illegal aliens who [had] found their way into the US” would be removed.

The raids took place just hours before Mr Trump arrived in the majority Latino city of El Paso to mark a mass shooting which left 22 people dead.

What happened at the plants?

About 600 ICE agents arrived at the chicken processing plants, owned by five different companies, in the towns of Bay Springs, Canton, Carthage, Morton, Pelahatchie and Sebastopol.

The agency’s acting director, Matthew Albence, told the Associated Press news agency it was one of the largest enforcement operations against undocumented immigrants. One video posted on Facebook showed people gathered outside a Koch Foods plant in Morton.

A child – daughter of one of the detained women – can be heard weeping uncontrollably as people are loaded onto a bus.

“Her mum is in there,” a woman tells a police officer. “Her mum is her only legal guardian.”

The crying girl asks the officer, “Please, can I just see my mother, please.” The child was eventually allowed to see her mother before she was taken away.

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