Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched a raid on several Mississippi food processing plants, detaining nearly 700 “removable” aliens and busing the men and women to a National Guard hangar near Jackson. Within days, the agency released nearly half on their own recognizance – on American soil – to await asylum hearings.
Employees deemed questionable on legal status were instructed to put personal belongings in clear plastic bags before having their hands zip tied together and being bundled off to be sorted through later. Each person detained was given access to a phone for making arrangements with caretakers for children or dependent family members. Those not immediately released will be moving to an ICE detention facility to cool their jets while identification is verified and sorted out – in other words, due process.
ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations agent running point on this raid, Chris Heck, told reporters, “I’ve never done anything like this. This is a very large worksite operation.”
The Optics? Not So Great
The raid was ostensibly per President Trump’s crackdown on criminal illegal aliens breaching the US/Mexico border and his strong words in June, “millions of illegal aliens who [had] found their way into the US” would be removed. It’s a policy that many Americans cheer and support – yet this raid has raised eyebrows among both the ardent anti-illegal alien crowd and the open borders radicals.
One question swirls in the wake of the public catch-and-release fiasco: What in the heck happened? Did ICE get it wrong and blanket all Hispanics working at the chicken plant without regard to legal status, or did the company play hide the chicken fingers with federal agents on whether or not employees were allowed to work in the US? One worker, a legal resident by the name of Domingo Candelaria, said, “It was a sad situation inside.” He said that authorities checked employees’ identification documents and the trunks of their vehicles before allowing legal workers to leave.
Regardless, detaining workers in a public fashion as a deterrent may have just set back the build-the-border-Wall cause a teeny bit in the eyes of the electorate. These people were hard at work, not bothering anyone, while drug runners and human traffickers enjoyed a break from being hunted. Seems a bit like shooting fish in a barrel – and in cases like this, folk tend to root for the fish.
Despite the lame stream media painting the president with a racist brush, he is hardly the deporter-in-chief. Incidences such as this week’s Mississippi raid were commonplace during the George W. Bush era. The former president was a fan of the showy, media-aimed captures, ferreting out the face of illegal immigration. President Barack Obama, the real deporter-in-chief, stealthily removed 3,080,195 mostly Hispanic folks but did so out of the public view.
Catch and Release
ICE spokesman Bryan Cox claimed great care was taken to ensure a smooth transition for those with children who were taken into custody – and those with dependents were released quickly. As of yet, the nationalities of those picked up in the raid have not been released, but Mexico has sent consular staff to help sort out if any of its citizens are amongst the group.
If raiding American businesses is going to be the norm, perhaps the radical left will see that a safer, secure border will stop aliens from entering only to face yet another upheaval in their lives. And it may serve the Trump administration to stop picking the low hanging fruit and chase down the violent criminals before detaining and processing or deporting immigrants who want to become legal American citizens.