Trump praises ICE raids in Mississippi, calls them 'a very good deterrent'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWHCA calls on Trump to denounce video depicting him shooting media outlets Video of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Trump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage MORE on Friday defended the raids carried out by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) this week in Mississippi, calling them "a very good deterrent."

Trump told reporters at the White House that the raids dissuade immigrants from entering and residing in the country illegally.

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“I want people to know that if they come into the United States illegally, they’re getting out. They’re going to be brought out. And this serves as a very good deterrent," he said.

ICE agents arrested roughly 680 people in Wednesday's raids, which targeted workers in poultry processing plants.

Around 300 detainees were released Thursday. ICE spokesman Bryan Cox told reporters they were "returned to the place where they were originally encountered."

Cox added that detainees with child care issues who were not subject to mandatory detention would be "expeditiously processed and returned to the point of apprehension so that they can get to their child or other dependents."

Still, critics say the raids were unnecessary and politically motivated.

"Once again, this Administration has separated families and left innocent children without their parents, simply for political purposes motivated by racism and prejudice," said Domingo Garcia, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens. "President Trump is targeting immigrant families so that he can play the race card and score cheap political points in the 2020 elections."

Trump on Friday defended the unannounced raids.

"The reason is because you have to go in, you can’t let anybody know, otherwise when you get there nobody will be there,” Trump told reporters when asked about the surprise raids.