It has been called the “largest single-state worksite enforcement action” in United States’ history, and it happened in the Magnolia State.
ICE, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi executed federal warrants across seven Mississippi work sites Wednesday.
680 illegal aliens were arrested as part of the operation.
“HSI’s worksite enforcement efforts are equally focused on aliens who unlawfully seek work in the U.S. as well as the employers who knowingly hire them,” said HSI New Orleans Special Agent in Charge Miles.
“The execution of federal search warrants today was simply about enforcing the rule of law in our state and throughout our great country. I commend these federal agents, our state and local law enforcement partners, and our federal prosecutors for their professionalism and dedication to ensure that those who violate our laws are held accountable. We are a nation of laws, and we will remain so by continuing to enforce our laws and ensuring that justice is done,” said U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst.
Of the 680 detainees, some are being identified as being eligible for an alternative to detention based on humanitarian reasons. They will be returned by HSI to their original place of detention but will still face a federal judge to determine whether or not they’ll be deported.
Family members of those detained can call ICE’s toll-free detainee locator hotline for information about an individual’s detention location and status, as well as information about the removal process. This hotline operates in English and Spanish. The phone number is 1-888-351-4024.
All of those arrested Wednesday are being interviewed, fingerprinted and photographed by ICE agents, processed for removal from the country, and relocated to an ICE facility in Jena, Louisiana.
This operation is part of multiple ongoing criminal investigations.