Children finished their first day of school with no parents to go home to tonight. Babies and toddlers remained at daycare with no guardian to pick them up. A child vainly searched a workplace parking lot for missing parents.
Those are some of the many stories immigrants' rights advocates told the Jackson Free Press they heard on Wednesday in calls with school officials, coworkers and distressed family members of immigrants whom ICE rounded up in Mississippi today.
On Wednesday morning in Mississippi, the Homeland Security Investigations unit of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE , coordinated n with the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, Mike Hurst, to carry out what they called the "largest single-state worksite enforcement action in (the) nation's history."
At a 2 p.m. press conference, Hurst said they were rounding up undocumented immigrants who are working in the United States or who might have communited some other crime, but was not specific about charges.
"Let them go! Let them go!" the Associated Press reported family members, including children, crying as Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents loaded immigrants onto buses outside a plant where they worked in Morton, Miss.
ICE carried out raids in five other Mississippi cities, including Bay Springs, Carthage, Sebastopol, Pelahatchie and Canton. Altogether, ICE rounded up 680 immigrant workers and loaded them onto buses. Hurst said they would go to a Louisiana ICE facility for "processing."
Advocates at the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance, or MIRA, spent Wednesday afternoon scrambling to answer calls from distressed family members and to find out exactly what was happening. "We're now trying to deal with schools because of the children that may be left behind by ICE," MIRA President Bill Chandler said.
'They Tased Him, Knocked Him to the Ground'
MIRA organizer Luis Espinoza traveled to Canton on Wednesday to help