In this file:


·         ICE releases 300 of 680 detainees in Mississippi, some on 'humanitarian grounds'

·         US Immigration Raids Target Meat Industry

·         ICE Arrests Hundreds in Mississippi Raids Targeting Immigrant Workers



ICE releases 300 of 680 detainees in Mississippi, some on 'humanitarian grounds'


Sarah Fowler, Mississippi Clarion Ledger

Aug. 8, 2019


About 300 of the 680 people detained in Wednesday's federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid were released the same day, officials said.


Approximately 30 people detained Wednesday were released at the same site they were detained on "humanitarian grounds," according to a press release issued Thursday by Mike Hurst, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, and ICE.


Another 270 were released after being processed by Homeland Security Investigations on Wednesday. Those 270 were taken back to where they were initially detained, the release stated.


Wednesday afternoon, ICE spokesperson Bryan Cox said everyone taken into custody and detained was asked if they had children. Cox said at the time that everyone would be processed but "not everyone is going to be (permanently) detained."


"You are going to have persons released," he said. "ICE makes custody determination on a case-by-case basis based on the totality of their circumstances."


According to the Thursday release, "all those detained yesterday were asked when they arrived at the processing center whether they had any children who were at school or child care and needed to be picked up."


Agents "made cellphones available" so those detained could make child care arrangements, the release stated.


If a couple was detained with minor children at home, one of them would be released on "humanitarian grounds." Single parents with minor children at home also were released...


... The raids happened at seven food processing plants...





US Immigration Raids Target Meat Industry

Massive Crackdown Highlights Need for Better Protection of Workers


Matt McConnell, Human Rights Watch

Aug 8, 2019


On Wednesday, United States immigration authorities arrested 680 people during raids on 7 food processing plants across the state of Mississippi, in what is likely the largest workplace immigration raid in the US in over a decade.


Like many dangerous, demanding, and dirty low-wage industries, the meat industry in the US relies heavily on immigrant labor, and immigration enforcement authorities have routinely carried out high-profile, mass arrests of workers in meat and poultry plants.


A May 2008 raid on a slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa had been the largest workplace raid until now. And in April 2018, immigration authorities arrested nearly 100 workers at a cattle slaughtering and processing plant near Morristown, Tennessee.


I spoke with some of the workers arrested in Morristown, as well as their families and community members, for an upcoming Human Rights Watch report on workers’ rights in US meat and poultry plants. The interviews made clear that workplace raids like these tear apart families and communities, which must continue to cope with their traumatic effects long after immigration officials are gone.


Wednesday’s raid will affect immigrants around the country who work each day to prepare the meat Americans consume. Many of the meat and poultry plant workers who spoke with Human Rights Watch were afraid of employer retaliation, regardless of their immigration status. They said that fear of immigration enforcement as a tool of retaliation prevents many immigrant workers from reporting workplace abuses.


“We don’t work with our real names, so we are afraid,” said an undocumented worker from a chicken plant in North Carolina...





ICE Arrests Hundreds in Mississippi Raids Targeting Immigrant Workers


By Miriam Jordan, The New York Times

Aug. 7, 2019


Federal agents raided several companies across Mississippi on Wednesday, rounding up hundreds of immigrant workers in what federal officials said might be the largest worksite enforcement action ever in a single state.


In a coordinated sting, more than 600 agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement showed up at the sites with federal warrants that allowed them to search the premises. About 680 immigrants who were believed to be working without legal documentation were apprehended and taken away on buses.


Lindsay Williams, a spokesman for the agency, said the federal agents executed the search warrants in conjunction with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi.


The operation was the culmination of a yearlong investigation, and it unfolded just hours before President Trump — who has made illegal immigration a trademark issue and who recently vowed to deport millions of undocumented immigrants — arrived in El Paso, a majority Latino city on the Mexico border where 22 people were killed over the weekend in an attack that federal authorities are investigating as an act of domestic terrorism.


The raids were by far the largest to occur since Mr. Trump took office, and the biggest since December 2006, when more than 1,200 people were swept up in a raid at several units of a meat processing company.


Three poultry plants that are owned and operated by Peco Foods in three towns, and a fourth run by Koch Foods, in Morton, Miss., were among the facilities raided on Wednesday.


Mayor William Truly of Canton told the local ABC affiliate that federal agents had identified workers who were in the country illegally and rounded them up, put them in buses and took them away.


Three buses took migrants who had been arrested at Koch Foods to a National Guard base.


“Those who were arrested are being processed and they are being given their due process,” Mr. Williams said.


One woman who said she was a lead worker at the Koch Foods plant told a local television station, WAPT, that ICE agents had come into the building and ordered employees to line up and walk outside.


“That’s all our workers — half of the plant!” she said of the detained workers. “I just know it’s messed up because we’ve got to think about the kids and everything. I mean, who’s going to get their kids?”


The woman, who was not identified, said multiple buses had already left the area with detained workers...