‘We are first and foremost a nation of laws…’
(Tim Balk, New York Daily News) After U.S. immigration officials arrested 680 mostly Latino workers Wednesday during raids of food-processing factories in Mississippi, about 300 were released, officials said.
About 30 were freed on humanitarian grounds at the sites where they were detained, and another 270 were released after Homeland Security investigations, Mike Hurst, the U.S. attorney for Mississippi, announced Thursday in a news release.
The raid spanned seven plants and six Mississippi cities.
ICE called it the largest “single-state (work site) enforcement action in history.”
The agency said after the crackdown that staff members had started interviewing those detained to identify circumstances for releases, such as humanitarian cases.
More than 600 agents helped with the sweeps.
“While we are a nation of immigrants, more than that, we are first and foremost a nation of laws,” Hurst told reporters in a Wednesday briefing on the raid.
John Sandweg, former acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency under the Obama administration, told BuzzFeed News that the crackdown would reverberate far beyond Wednesday, describing it as a “high-profile way to send a message and to create more fear in immigrant communities about ICE and about their ability to live and work in this country.”
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