ICE Scores Biggest Single-State Bust of Illegal Aliens in US History
Agents raid Mississippi food processing plants and arrest 680 illegal immigrants
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has completed a hugely successful series of raids across six cities in Mississippi, resulting in the arrest of 680 illegal aliens, making the operation the largest single-state bust in US history.
Federal officials confirmed Wednesday they captured almost 700 illegal immigrants who had been working for a chain of seven Mississippi food processing plants.
ICE agents raided plants in Bay Springs, Carthage, Canton, Morton, Pelahatchie, and Sebastapol.
The sting was also the largest workplace raid in the last 11 years.
The last time such a high number of illegal aliens was arrested in an ICE workplace raid was in 2008 when about 595 illegal workers were arrested.
According to federal officials, some of the hundreds of illegal aliens arrested on Wednesday have already been ordered deported by an immigration judge and have refused to self-deport.
Those illegal aliens will be quickly deported.
Other illegal aliens have yet to go through the immigration courts and will be afforded a review process where they will make a case to remain in the U.S.
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi Mike Hurst told the media at a press conference:
"We are first and foremost a nation of laws and the Rule of Law is the bedrock, the very foundation, of our great country.
"I heard someone say that a country without borders is not a country at all and while I agree with that, I would also add that without law there is no order.
"Without the enforcement of law, there is no justice."
The food processing plants raided by ICE include the Koch Foods Inc. facility in Morton, Mississippi.
The plant is not associated with the GOP mega-donor billionaires Charles and David Koch.
ICE officials said the investigation into the illegal aliens and their employers is ongoing and could not comment on specifics of the case.
“These are not victimless crimes,” an ICE official said.
“Illegal workers create vulnerabilities in the marketplace … as well as stealing the identities of legal U.S. workers, citizens, and legal immigrants alike, who must suffer the long-lasting consequences of their stolen identities.”