In what has been described as the “largest single-state worksite enforcement action” in American history, coordinated law enforcement raids were launched on seven Mississippi chicken processing plants on Wednesday.
The raids resulted in the arrests of roughly 680 “removable aliens.”
The raids were coordinated and led by the U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of Mississippi, Mike Hurst — in conjunction with Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and local law enforcement agencies — and were used to serve federal criminal search warrants against the businesses as well as administrative search warrants against suspected illegal aliens with no authorization to reside or work in the United States.
“The execution of federal search warrants today was simply about enforcing the rule of law in our state and throughout our great country,” Hurst said in an official statement. “I commend these federal agents, our state and local law enforcement partners, and our federal prosecutors for their professionalism and dedication to ensure that those who violate our laws are held accountable.”
“We are a nation of laws, and we will remain so by continuing to enforce our laws and ensuring that justice is done,” the federal prosecutor added.
HSI Special Agent in Charge Jere Miles, based out of New Orleans, Lousiana, said of the operations, “HSI’s worksite enforcement efforts are equally focused on aliens who unlawfully seek work in the U.S. as well as the employers who knowingly hire them.”
An ICE news release revealed that the raids on the businesses were part of an ongoing criminal investigation and that pertinent business records of the raided plants were seized.
It was noted that HSI is the agency tasked with enforcing the 1986 Immigration Control and Reform Act which mandates that employers verify that workers are eligible to work in the U.S.
“These laws help protect jobs for U.S. citizens and lawful U.S. residents, eliminate unfair competitive advantages for companies that unlawfully hire an illegal workforce, and strengthen public safety and national security,” the release noted.
ICE added that in addition to stopping the use of stolen identities by illegal workers to gain unlawful employment, the agency’s efforts also combated “worker exploitation, illegal wages, child labor and other illegal practices,” as well as “additional criminal activity, such as alien smuggling, human trafficking, money laundering, document fraud, worker exploitation and/or substandard wage and working conditions.”
Some detainees released, others processed for removal, still others deported
As for the 680 illegal aliens who were detained, all will be interviewed by agents. Some may be released on a case-by-case basis for “humanitarian reasons,” while others with prior criminal or immigration histories will be detained and processed through the courts. Those who have already been ordered removed by the courts, but failed to leave the country, would be summarily deported to their nation of origin.
There will undoubtedly be wails and moans from the “open borders” left about these raids, but the agents and prosecutors are merely enforcing existing laws which, in essence, is all that President Trump’s agenda on illegal immigration boils down to.