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Poor People's Campaign Leader Speaks Out About ICE Raids

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Poor People's Campaign Leader Speaks Out About ICE Raids
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Rev. William Barber Speaking at Canton Church
Desare Frazier

A human rights organization is in Mississippi to speak out against the recent ICE raids and support those working to help immigrant families. MPB's Desare Frazier reports.

Leader of the National Poor People's Campaign, Reverend William Barber of North Carolina, is at Liberty Missionary Baptist Church in Canton. Barber, a well-known advocate for racial and economic justice says he came to support Mississippians following this month's ICE raids at seven food processing facilities.

"You talking about people working, people contributing, people caring, people raising families and something as grotesque that you would snatch people away and leave their children alone. We know that if this was Europeans this would not have happened. If this was wealthy kids it would not have happened," said Barber.

August 7th, ICE agents arrested 680 people, more than 300 have since been released. Pastor Jose Rodriguez says members of seven families at his church in Kosciusko, were arrested. He says his church and others are helping the families.

"The needs right now since they aren't able to go back to work is going to be able to pay their rent, pay their utility bills and try to bring some groceries to the table," said Rodriguez.

Ministers of various races and denominations are here. Pastor Lesley Ratcliff is with Northminster Baptist in Jackson.

"I'm proud of the way Mississippi churches have responded already. But I think that we can always do more," said Ratcliff.

Reverend William Barber says clergy should go to detention centers where immigrants are being held and demand pastoral visits, as well as rally at the Jackson offices of Mississippi Senators Cindy Hyde-Smith and Roger Wicker and register people to vote. Wicker has said ICE handled the situation humanely.