22 | SEP | 2019
ICE raids in Mississippi: 122 Mexican migrants arrested
As of now, 34 Mexican nationals have been released – Photo: US Homeland Security/EFE

ICE raids in Mississippi: 122 Mexican migrants arrested

09/08/2019
18:00
Newsroom & Agencies
Mexico City
Lizbeth Díaz, Julia Love, Gustavo Palencia, Sofía Menchu, Frank Jack Daniel, Sandra Maler & Tom Hogue/REUTERS & Ariadna García/EL UNIVERSAL
-A +A
Activists reported that ICE raids have taken place in companies where migrant workers have organized unions to face discrimination and dangerous working conditions with the support of U.S. authorities

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On Wednesday, U.S. immigration authorities from the ICE arrested nearly 700 people at seven agricultural processing plants across the state of Mississippi in what federal officials said could be the largest worksite enforcement operation in a single state.

On Twitter, the Mexican foreign ministry, Marcelo Ebrard, said 122 Mexican nationals had been detained, of whom 34 had been released, due to having migratory documents or having a clean criminal record, and had been notified of dates for hearings with migration authorities.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that 88 Mexicans are detained in Mississippi and Louisiana and that agents of consular protection are aware of their safety.

Marcelo Ebrard said that all detained co-nationals are receiving attention: “The order we have […] is that those who are repatriated should be accompanied, in this case, by authorities from the Interior Ministry, and receive employment, health, and education proposals.”

He detailed that the network of lawyers of the program of legal assistance for Mexicans had been activated to guarantee a correct legal defense to each and all of the detained.

Due to the measure of what happened in Mississippi, the Mexican government ordered consuls in New Orleans, Houston, and Little Rock to be alert. Employees of the consulate in New Orleans deployed in Jena and Basile, Louisiana, as well as in Natchez, Mississippi.

 

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Ebrard said that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will be asked to make a tour through detention centers in the United States to verify the conditions of the migrants.

The president of the organization Mexa Institute Jorge Santibañez highlighted that the raids lacked sensitivity since President Donald Trump was in El Paso Texas, where on August 3rd an anti-migrant shooting took place. Santibañez considered that Mexico should change its migratory strategy with the U.S. because, in addition to the hundreds of detained Mexicans, millions are afraid.

Santibañez also informed that Koch Foods, the firm owner of the agricultural processing farms where the raids took place, paid USD $3.75 million for a demand for labor against them for sexual harassment, racial and national origin discrimination, as well as for retaliation against their Hispanic workers.

Activists informed that this kind of operation has focused on companies where migrant workers have organized unions to face discrimination and dangerous working conditions with the support of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington, reported the site Democracy Now!

 

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As a result of this operation, Guatemala’s foreign ministry said in a statement that 176 of its citizens had been arrested in the raids in Mississippi, 142 of them men and 34 women.

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