The largest single state immigration enforcement operation in the U.S. history took place on Aug. 7.
LARGEST Single-State Worksite Enforcement Action in Nation’s History Conducted TODAY by @ICEgov & @TheJusticeDept at Various Sites Across #Mississippi
Approx. 680 Aliens Detained Pursuant to Federal Warrants
Thank you ICE Acting Director Matt Albence, @DHSgov, @SDMSNews & others pic.twitter.com/45T7mvMRvK
— US Attorney Mike Hurst (@USAttyHurst) August 7, 2019
“In what is believed to be the largest single-state immigration enforcement operation in our nation’s history, today at seven sites… ICE HSI (Homeland Security Investigation) special agents executed administrative and criminal search warrants resulting in the detention of approximately 680 illegal aliens,” said Mike Hurst, Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, reported The Hill.
“The arrests today were part of a year-long investigation,” ICE Acting Director Matt Albence added.
The detained employees at the Koch Foods plant in Morton, Mississippi, were boarded on three buses and taken to Mississippi National Guard base, reported the Associated Press.
ICE agents searched the plant, asking employees for identification. The ones who were unable to prove they are legal residents were detained and the ones who had their papers in order were released after their lockers were checked.
Today, ICE Acting Director Matthew Albence and @SDMSNews @USAttyHurst announced the results of the execution of federal search warrants by HSI special agents at multiple locations across the state of #Mississippi. The largest single-state #worksite enforcement action in history. pic.twitter.com/BiR7l0cBuv
— ICE (@ICEgov) August 7, 2019
It is not yet known what criminal activities prompted the federal criminal warrant and the involvement of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Generally, immigration violations are civil law issues and are not bound by criminal warrants.
“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents are executing federal search warrants today at multiple locations across the state of Mississippi as part of a coordinated operation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi pursuant to ongoing HSI criminal and administrative investigations,” ICE spokesman Bryan Cox said in an email, according to The Hill.
— U.S. Attorney SDMS (@SDMSNews) August 7, 2019
ICE published on Twitter a series of posts related to the criminal prosecution operation.
“ICE HSI is responsible for upholding the laws established by Congress to include the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which requires employers to verify the ID & work eligibility of all individuals they hire,” read one of the social media posts.
ICE HSI is responsible for upholding the laws established by Congress to include the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which requires employers to verify the ID & work eligibility of all individuals they hire. https://t.co/VOeZxpZ4hV pic.twitter.com/D7hTEugItD
— ICE (@ICEgov) August 7, 2019
The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on Nov. 6, 1986, making knowingly hiring of illegal immigrants penalizable by financial and other penalties. The act also legalized most undocumented immigrants that came to the United States before Jan. 1, 1982.