In a sweep targeting seven agricultural processing plants in six Mississippi cities, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested roughly 680 people on Wednesday.
ICE said the individuals arrested were undocumented immigrants, and this was the largest single-state workplace enforcement action in United States history. During a news conference, ICE Acting Director Matthew Albence said the raids were the result of a year-long criminal investigation.
The agency did not reveal how many people were targeted in the raids or the number of "collateral" arrests — individuals who were swept up in the operation. Officials also didn't say if the employers hiring undocumented immigrants will be charged. In June, President Trump postponed scheduled raids against Central American undocumented immigrants. That operation targeted about 2,000 people, and when the raids were launched in July across several major U.S. cities, they resulted in 35 arrests.Catherine Garcia
The Trump administration's long-promised immigration raids started slowly over the weekend, with officials confirming only a few people have been arrested, The New York Times reports.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement wants to carry out deportation orders again 2,000 migrants, primarily targeting families who recently arrived from Central America. Migrants from the region fleeing poverty and violence have been steadily arriving at the southern border, and President Trump believes these raids will deter more people from coming to the U.S.
Several current and former Department of Homeland Security officials told the Times the raids, originally scheduled for June but postponed due to Democratic pushback, were scaled back after immigrant communities were tipped off on what to expect. Instead of the simultaneous raids that had been planned, ICE field offices were told they could decide when they wanted to launch raids in their areas.
Legally, ICE agents cannot force their ways into the homes of targets, and undocumented migrants have been told by immigrant organizations to not answer their doors. There are reports ICE agents attempted to arrest people in Chicago, New York City, and New Jersey, and authorities told the Times more migrants are expected to be detained during the week. Catherine Garcia