Federal officials arrested 680 immigrants who are believed to be undocumented in Mississippi in the largest “single-state” raid to ever occur in the United States.
Several hundred Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials made those arrests Wednesday at seven food processing plants in several cities including Morton, Bay Springs, Carthage, and Canton just to name a few.
There were around 600 ICE officials involved in the operation who surrounded the outskirts of each location as several people tried to unsuccessfully flee the scene.
ICE released a statement following the raids saying, “All the unlawfully present foreign nationals arrested Wednesday are being interviewed by ICE staff to record any potential mitigating humanitarian situations.”
The statement continued by saying officials will handle each case individually contingent upon those interviews and criminal history.
Immigrants possessing legal status were permitted to leave the location after their immigration status was verified.
During the raids, ICE officials were also able to secure additional business records at the food processing plants.
Such immigration raids are not unprecedented as many took place under the leadership of President George W. Bush to crack down on the influx of illegal immigration.
Back in 2008, over 400 illegal immigrants were arrested during a raid in Iowa at a kosher meatpacking plant.