Immigration Raids in Mississippi
Just last week, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents carried out coordinated raids in Mississippi, resulting in the arrest of 680 immigrant workers. The raids were conducted in order to execute search warrants for workers that ICE believed did not have the proper legal documents (and subsequently, the right to work). Without a warning, ICE agents apprehended the workers across different food processing plants.
Main reasons given for the raids
While the 680 migrant workers were arrested, those who had hired them were not met with similar arrest warrants. The raid was the result of an investigation that had been in the works for a year in order to enforce work permits and ensure that all those who were working did so with the proper documentation. Two main reasons are given for the raids: they are necessary for upholding immigration laws and ensuring that employers are paying a fair wage, as well as providing appropriate working conditions. However, in an effort to fulfill these two goals, hundreds of workers were loaded onto buses and detained. Not only did these plants lose a large portion of their workforces, but those who were detained left behind their families – and children.
Several cases of family breakups have been publicized by the media, with some showing children left abandoned as both of their parents had been arrested during the day. These raids, as well as threats of others across the US, scare immigrant communities and easily spread inaccuracies regarding the immigration system. Those who were detained in Mississippi will have to go to court in order to resolve their cases. At points like these, it is vital that the workers receive legal counsel and representation so that their rights are upheld in court. The immigrant workers can face deportation and, with the help of an immigration lawyer, a defense can be made in court.