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ICE Raids on Mississippi Food Plants Leave Children Unattended

August 9, 2019

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

FOREST, Miss.—Federal immigration raids on a Mississippi poultry-processing plant Aug. 7 left many children homeless and unattended in this town of about 6,000 people. In a massive operation that seized 680 alleged undocumented immigrants in seven Mississippi towns, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested three busloads of workers at a Koch Foods Inc. plant in Morton, about 40 miles east of Jackson and five miles west of Forest. They were handcuffed and taken to a Mississippi National Guard hangar outside Jackson—and their children had to rely on neighbors or strangers to pick them up after school. “Government please show some heart,” 11-year-old Magdalena Gomez Gregorio, whose father was among those seized at the Koch plant, told WJTV while fighting back tears. “Let my parent be free and everyone else please don’t leave the child with cryness.” Forest residents donated food and bedding for the children, who are sleeping in a local gym. “While we are a nation of immigrants, more than that we are first and foremost a nation of laws,” federal prosecutor Mike Hurst told reporters. “I understand the law,” gym owner Jordan Barnes told WJTV. “But everybody needs to hold the kids first and foremost.” Read more

August 9, 2019

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