Raids by federal agents on poultry processing plants in Mississippi resulted in the detention of almost 700 workers suspected of being in the country illegally, making for one of the largest immigration stings in more than a decade.
Plants belonging to Koch Foods, Peco Foods and PH Foods were raided in small towns near the state capital of Jackson. Reports said about 680 workers were detained in the operation, which involved about 600 agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) setting up perimeters around the plants to prevent workers from fleeing. The arrested workers were taken to a hangar at a Mississippi National Guard facility near Jackson.
Pictures and video footage of children crying for their detained parents were posted on news sites and social media. More than 300 of the arrested workers were released the following morning, according to an ICE spokesperson.
The mayor of Jackson denounced the raids as “dehumanizing and ineffective.” Democratic presidential candidates Kamala Harris and Cory Booker also denounced the raids on Twitter.