Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested more than 680 people in a workplace sweep of several food processing plants in Mississippi.
The arrest total is the highest amount for any single operation in the agency’s history. An agency spokesperson described the 680 individuals now in ICE custody as “removable aliens.”
More than 600 ICE agents were involved in serving search warrants at Koch Food Inc. food plants throughout Mississippi(the plants aren’t owned by the billionaire oligarch Koch brothers known for bankrolling libertarian front groups).
Plants in Bay Springs, Carthage, Canton, Morton, Pelahatchie and Sebastapol were searched, under suspicion for massively violating U.S immigration law for hiring considerable amounts of illegal aliens.
It’s unclear if the illegal workers detained in the immigration sweep will all be deported. An agency spokesperson said that the workers will be interviewed for “mitigating humanitarian situations,” presenting a possibility that those in the U.S illegally will get off easy.
The immigration sweep could have a considerable effect on labor markets in Mississippi. It’s possible that workers employed in the food processing industry could see a considerable increase in bargaining power with their employers and an increase in wages, considering that industry employers may be limited to legal workers after being busted employing hundreds of illegals.
Employers who habitually and willfully violate immigration law through the employment of illegals can face legal consequences. An owner of a Tennessee meatpacking plant busted for employing hundreds of illegal immigrants was sentenced to 18 months in prison in July.
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