"ICE Did Not Take Into Account The Impact On Children": Congress Holds a Hearing On The ICE Raid In Mississippi | Univision Immigration News

A committee of the House of Representatives will hold a “public hearing on the ground” on Thursday to learn about the impact caused by an ICE raid executed in early August at several meat processing plants in Mississippi, which left a balance of 680 workers detained .

“This Thursday, November 7, the National Security Committee, chaired by Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (Mississippi Democrat) will hold a raid hearing at the workplace of the Immigration and Customs Office (ICE),” it is read in the announcement of the event sent to the media.

The committee notes that the raid in question was promoted as “the largest immigration law enforcement operation in a single state,” but warns that despite “extensive planning, ICE did not take into account the impact on children and the communities ”after the arrest of hundreds of immigrants.


Why the audience

"This hearing will provide committee members the opportunity to learn how the Trump administration and the federal agency specifically have impacted communities throughout Mississippi."

"The August raid was a demonstration of strength that has had a significant impact on the Mississippi communities," Thompson said. "Three months later, we still don't have an adequate explanation of why the federal government planned and executed this raid without taking into account the impact on children, families and the community," he added.

Thompson also said that “due to this negligence, dozens of children went home after their first day of school to find that one or both of their parents were nowhere. It is imperative that Congress does not ignore our oversight responsibilities, as the Trump administration continues to cruelly attack migrant families. ”

The raid

In early August about 600 federal immigration agents, with the support of state and local police, showed up at several food processing plants in Mississippi in search of undocumented workers.

The then acting director of ICE, Matthew Albence, said that in the operations, which lasted several days, they left a balance of 680 detainees, making the raid the largest operation of its kind in workplaces in a single state.

ICE explained that the agents executed several arrest warrants at seven food plants in that state. The plants affected by the operation are owned by the company Koch Foods Inc., located in the town of Morton, 40 miles east of Jackson.

"It was a sad situation inside," said Domingo Candelaria, a legal resident and worker at Koch. He indicated that the authorities reviewed the identification documents of the employees.

During the raid, a family member of the detainees recorded images of Angie, an 11-year-old girl who cried while ICE took her mother, a Guatemalan worker who worked at the Koch plant.

Religious raise their voices

Mississippi religious organizations said Wednesday that they "get ready" to attend the public hearing convened by the Committee by the National Security Committee of the House of Representatives.

"We have a renewed passion for loving our neighbor and rejecting any power that demonizes and hurts him," said Reverend Steven S. Bryant, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church.

The group said that, “as in any type of disaster that occurs in a community, whether natural or man-made, the religious institutions of Mississippi have worked tirelessly to help families affected by the August mass compliance action . About 700 workers were arrested, their children were stranded and their spouses devastated. ”

After the operation, the First Presbyterian Church and the Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart, in Canton, joined with legal advocates and community members to support families affected by the raid.

Low blow

"The ICE raid came over the weekend that was already horrible and brought an additional layer of suffering and despair," said Laurie Kraus, director of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.

The weekend that preceded the operation a man armed with an assault rifle had entered a Wal-Mart supermarket in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 people, mostly immigrants of Mexican origin.

A second shooting in Dayton, Ohio, left a jump of 10 dead (including the author) and 27 injured.

"Contrary to what certain elected officials tell us, the people and families affected by the raids are not criminals. They are valuable members of this community," Bryant said.

"They are our friends and neighbors. Some have made Canton their home for decades and have made our community a better place. Since the traumatic raids in August, Canton has rediscovered what it means to love your neighbor," he said.

The Interreligious Immigration Coalition that will attend the hearing is made up of 53 national faith-based organizations. "In partnership, we work to protect the rights, dignity and security of all refugees and migrants," the group said.

Photos: Moments of anguish during massive ICE raids on food plants


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