300 of 680 people detained in Mississippi ICE raids released: Report

Three hundred of 680 people detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in several raids across Mississippi Wednesday were released, the agency said Wednesday night.

Just less than half of those detained in raids on seven food processing plants in Bay Springs, Carthage, Canton, Morton, Pelahatchie and Sebastapol were released from custody Wednesday evening, ICE spokesperson Bryan Cox told the Mississippi Clarion-Ledger Thursday.

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Cox said Wednesday afternoon that while everyone detained would be processed, “not everyone is going to be [permanently] detained,” according to the newspaper.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Mississippi called the raids, the biggest single-state immigration enforcement operation in history, “unnecessary and cruel.”

“We are deeply concerned that the raids have separated Mississippians’ families, disrupted our local economy, and diverted our state’s limited resources to support Trump’s mass deportation agenda,” ACLU of Mississippi legal director and interim executive director Joshua Tom said in a statement.

“Local law enforcement should refuse to cooperate with the president’s anti-immigrant policies. We stand in solidarity and are committed to help the families harmed,” he added.

The agency said ICE agents “made cellphones available” to allow detainees to make child-care arrangements, according to the Clarion-Ledger, and said that any couples or single parents with minor children at home were released on humanitarian grounds.

While their parents were detained, numerous children were reportedly left temporarily homeless and made to sleep in a community gym, although all were reportedly returned to either their homes or those of relatives by Wednesday night.

The terms of release for those released were not immediately clear, according to The Associated Press, nor did ICE specify whether those released were determined to be undocumented. ICE had previously said they would release detainees who were pregnant or had not previously faced immigration proceedings.

The Hill has reached out to ICE for clarification.