‘They cry for their parents’: Mississippi Ice raids spur pleas from children (Source The Guardian)
A raid by US immigration agents that picked up about 680 immigrants in Mississippi has triggered a wave of heart-rending videos and images to spread across the internet, mostly of young children abruptly separated from migrant parents caught up in the detentions. The government confirmed that the sweep, which targeted food-processing plants, was the largest ever conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a single state. Dozens of the children, some toddlers, were picked up from school and taken to makeshift shelters. Videos and news reports showed the children crying, and sometimes in the care of strangers or with relatives. Mississippi’s department of child protection services said no children from the raids were in its custody. Jackson TV station WJTV reported that authorities said children affected by the raid would be placed with another family member or, in some cases, school officials. The round-up was executed by more than 600 Ice agents at poultry factories centered around Jackson and Canton and owned by Koch Foods and Peco Foods. A spokesman for Ice said about 300 of those arrested had since been released because they had no reason to be held. Others who were not released were put on buses and driven across the state border to Louisiana, where there are more detention beds. Despite official claims that all children had been cared for, WJTV’s Alex Love reported that many were left behind by the Ice agents who arrested their parents, and had nowhere to go.