According to reporting from KTLA 5, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted the largest immigration raid in more than ten years — arresting nearly 700 people at multiple worksites in Mississippi. Apparently planned over the last several months, the agency used approximately 600 agents to carry out coordinated enforcement operations at food processing plants all around the state. Reports indicate that Koch Foods — a billion-dollar poultry company — was one of the major targets.
Children Have Been Left Without Parents
The scale of these raids has caused tremendous disruption, trauma, and heartache in immigrant communities throughout the state of Mississippi. As reported by The Daily Beast, many young children have been left without parents or caregivers. Schools and other organizations in the region are scrambling to try to find a solution. It is a tragic and wholly unnecessary situation. The Clarion Ledger notes that many public officials simply do not know how to handle this crisis that was thrust upon them.
Tony McGee, the Superintendent of schools for Scott County, told reporters that he is already aware of at least six students between the ages of 5 and 13 in his district alone whose parents have been arrested and detained by ICE. Many children have been left in tears. It is likely that hundreds of students across the state are affected. This is yet another form of mass family separation by the Trump Administration.
California State Law Offers Additional Workplace Protections
It is unclear if the ICE operation in Mississippi is the first sign that the agency will be conducting even more aggressive raids in the coming months. That being said, there is certainly reason to be worried. Some employees are more vulnerable than others. Workers in some states, including California, have additional, state-level legal protections.
In the early stages of the Trump Administration, California lawmakers made reforms that better protected the rights of immigrant employees. Under the California Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450), employers have duties in regard to immigration enforcement operations.
Most importantly, they are forbidden from allowing federal immigration offers to inspect non-public areas or private employment records without a judicial warrant. In addition, if a California employer receives a warning from ICE regarding an impending inspection, the employer must post that information at the worksite. Unfortunately, in many jurisdictions across the country, including in Mississippi, immigrant workers have no such legal protections.
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At the Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, our immigration attorney is an aggressive and effective advocate for clients. We work tirelessly to protect the legal rights and interests of immigrants. If you or your family member has received a removal or deportation notice, our law firm is here to help. For a fully private case evaluation, please call our Los Angeles law office now.