Hundreds of workers in Mississippi are under arrest following one of the largest immigration raids in U.S. history. MPB's Ezra Wall reports.
An immigrants' advocacy group calls the raids an act of terror against migrant workers in Mississippi. Some 680 workers at seven locations were arrested Wednesday as part of an operation by U.S. immigration officials, homeland security and the U.S. Attorney's office. Mississippi Southern District U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst says it's important for people to follow the law.
"Now, while we are a nation of immigrants, more than that we are first and foremost a nation of laws," says Hurst. "And the rule of law is the bedrock, the very foundation of our country."
Bill Chandler is Executive Director of the Mississippi Immigrants' Rights Alliance. He says the raids are nothing more than an excuse to target people based on race - a claim government officials deny.
"This raid is an act of terrorism against Latino communities throughout Mississippi. And you know people are very scared," says Chandler. "We've been trying to help people with 'Know Your Rights' presentations consistently over the years, so we hope that workers will be able to respond in a dignified way to this act against their rights."
ICE would not confirm whether any company ownership or management are under investigation. Interim Director Matt Albance would only say Wednesday's arrests are "just another step" in an investigation that has been going on for a year.