Fifty-five people were detained in Mississippi following Wednesday raids at eight restaurants in Meridian, Jackson, Flowood and Pearl.
The raids were conducted by agents of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security. In Meridian, criminal search warrants were served at Sake Sushi and China Buffet II. ICE also told Newscenter 11 that searches were conducted at residences.
A spokesman for ICE said Thursday the operation was not intended for rounding up undocumented workers.
“As far as we can tell, these raids and actions were targeted toward the employers, not even necessarily the employees,” said Jeremy Litton, an immigration attorney in Jackson. “Some employees were obviously picked up and detained now but we have no idea if there are any criminal charges at this point that have been filed against them.”