cloudy.png
Thursday November 14th, 2019 3:01PM

Immigration raids hit Mississippi food processing plants

By The Associated Press

MORTON, Miss. (AP) — U.S. immigration officials raided several Mississippi food processing plants on Wednesday and signaled that the early-morning strikes were part of a large-scale operation targeting owners as well as employees.

Employees filled three buses — two for men and one for women — at a Koch Foods Inc. plant in tiny Morton, 40 miles (64 kilometers) east of Jackson. They were taken to a military hangar to be processed for immigration violations. About 70 family, friends and residents waved goodbye and shouted, "Let them go! Let them go!" Later, two more buses arrived.

A tearful 13-year-old boy whose parents are from Guatemala waved goodbye to his mother, a Koch worker, as he stood beside his father. Workers who were confirmed to have legal status were allowed to leave the plant after having their trunks searched.

"It was a sad situation inside," said Domingo Candelaria, a legal resident and Koch worker who said authorities checked employees' identification documents.

The sting was another demonstration of President Donald Trump carrying out his signature domestic priority to crack down illegal immigration. Later in the day, he was scheduled to visit El Paso, Texas, where a gunman linked to an online screed about a "Hispanic invasion" allegedly killed 22 people in the border city.

Such large shows of force were common under President George W. Bush, most notably at a kosher meatpacking plant in tiny Postville, Iowa, in 2008. President Barack Obama avoided them, limiting his workplace immigration efforts to low-profile audits that were done outside of public view.

Trump resumed workplace raids, but the months of preparation and hefty resources they require make them rare. Last year, the administration hit a landscaping company near Toledo, Ohio, and a meatpacking plant in eastern Tennessee.

A hangar at the Mississippi National Guard in Flowood, near Jackson, was set up to process employees for immigration violations on Wednesday. There were seven lines, one for each location. Buses had been lined up since early in the day to be dispatched to the plants.

"I've never done anything like this," Chris Heck, resident agent in charge of ICE's Homeland Security Investigations unit in Jackson, told The Associated Press inside the hangar. "This is a very large worksite operation."

Koch Foods, based in Park Ridge, Illinois, is one of the largest poultry producers in the U.S. and employs about 13,000 people. The company has no relation to prominent conservative political donors and activists Charles and David Koch.

The company has operations in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Ohio and Tennessee. Forbes ranks it as the 135th largest privately held company in the U.S., with an estimated $3.2 billion in annual revenue.

The company, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, said when it received an industry award in February that the Morton plant produces more than 700,000 tons of poultry feed a year.

Agents arrived at the Morton plant, passing a chain-link fence with barbed wire on top, with a sign that said the company was hiring. Mike Hurst, the U.S. attorney for Mississippi, was at the scene.

Workers had their wrists tied with plastic bands and were told to deposit personal belongings in clear plastic bags. Agents collected the bags before they boarded buses.

"This will affect the economy," Maria Isabel Ayala, a child care worker for plant employees, said as the buses left. "Without them here, how will you get your chicken?"

___

Elliot Spagat contributed reporting from San Diego.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Agriculture, AP Business - Poultry & Egg
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
El Paso, with deep Mexican American past, rallies amid pain
The mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart struck a city some call a Mexican American intellectual, political and literary center
12:33PM ( 2 minutes ago )
Trump faces protests as he visits Dayton, El Paso
Trump met by protesters as he heads to Ohio and Texas
12:31PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Gunfire as special forces raid Kyrgyz ex-president's home
Special forces in the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan raided the residence of the former president, who faces corruption and abuse of office charges
12:22PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Pakistan downgrades ties with India over Kashmir moves
Pakistan has downgraded its diplomatic ties with neighboring India and suspended bilateral trade in response to New Delhi's decision to eliminate the special status and statehood of Kashmir, a Himalayan region claimed by both countries
11:39AM ( 56 minutes ago )
Cyntoia Brown is released from Tennessee women's prison
Cyntoia Brown has left a Tennessee prison where she had been serving a life sentence for killing a man who picked her up for sex at 16
10:59AM ( 1 hour ago )
Hundreds of poor migrant workers flee Kashmir under lockdown
Hit by a complete security lockdown in Kashmir, hundreds of poor migrant workers have begun fleeing the Himalayan region to return to their far-away villages in northern and eastern India
10:30AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Berlin to tighten rules for electric scooter users
Berlin plans to stop electric scooters being left on sidewalks and other anti-social behavior that's drawn the ire of residents in the German capital since the vehicles were made legal two months ago
11:30AM ( 1 hour ago )
Pakistan decides to downgrade ties with India over Kashmir
Pakistan has decided to downgrade its diplomatic ties with neighboring India and suspend bilateral trade in response to New Delhi's decision to reduce the special status of Kashmir, a Himalayan region claimed by both countries
10:07AM ( 2 hours ago )
FedEx severs ties with Amazon
FedEx cuts ties with Amazon as the online giant builds own delivery fleet
9:51AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
Japan says export step not aimed at hurting ties with Seoul
Japan's government spokesman says downgrading of South Korea's trade status is not intended as retaliation for disputes over court rulings ordering Japanese companies pay compensation for their treatment of Korean laborers during World War II
5:55AM ( 6 hours ago )
After years of waiting, medical marijuana sold in Louisiana
A Marine veteran struggling with PTSD and a woman fighting cancer became some of the first people to purchase medical marijuana in Louisiana on Tuesday, as the state became the first in the Deep South to dispense therapeutic cannabis
8:34PM ( 16 hours ago )
FDA says Novartis withheld data problem before drug approval
FDA says drugmaker Novartis didn't disclose a problem with animal testing data until after its gene therapy was OK'd
6:51PM ( 17 hours ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
China's yuan weakens after signs of stability calm markets
China's currency weakens again after signs of stability helped to reassure jittery financial markets
7:16AM ( 5 hours ago )
India's central bank cuts lending rate to 5.40%
India's central bank has cut its key interest rate for the fourth consecutive time, reducing the repo rate by 0.35% to 5.40% to shore up the economy
5:16AM ( 7 hours ago )
New Zealand cuts benchmark interest rate to lowest-ever 1%
New Zealand's central bank has cut its benchmark interest rate to an all-time low of 1% as it forecasts tougher economic conditions ahead
3:57AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Peach growers see tourism as a chance to build 'connection'
In the 1980s the sales team for Lane Southern Orchards worked in a plain, cinder block building on Ga. 96 near Fort Valley, but there was a big problem
12:01AM ( 4 days ago )
Remains found on Missouri farm in Wisconsin brothers search
Authorities say human remains have been found on a Missouri farm, more than a week after two Wisconsin brothers disappeared during a trip for their livestock business
6:23PM ( 6 days ago )
Boris Johnson tries to reassure on Brexit as pound slumps
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is visiting Wales as part of a national tour intended to reassure Britons that his push for a hard Brexit won't hurt the economy and rip apart the U.K.
8:18AM ( 1 week ago )
AP Business - Agriculture
Technology companies push early US stock gains
U.S. stocks moved higher in early trading Monday as investors snapped up technology stocks
10:15AM ( 2 weeks ago )
US government investigating poultry price-fixing claims
US Department of Justice investigating price-fixing claims in poultry industry
3:18PM ( 1 month ago )
Scientists successfully transfer 1st test tube rhino embryo
Scientists in Europe say they've successfully transferred a test tube rhino embryo back into a female whose eggs were fertilized in vitro, as part of an effort to save another nearly extinct sub-species of the giant horned mammal
11:06AM ( 1 month ago )
AP Business - Poultry & Egg
El Paso, with deep Mexican American past, rallies amid pain
The mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart struck a city some call a Mexican American intellectual, political and literary center
12:33PM ( 2 minutes ago )
Trump faces protests as he visits Dayton, El Paso
Trump met by protesters as he heads to Ohio and Texas
12:31PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Gunfire as special forces raid Kyrgyz ex-president's home
Special forces in the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan raided the residence of the former president, who faces corruption and abuse of office charges
12:22PM ( 13 minutes ago )
British Airways computer problem strands 20,000
British Airways has canceled over 100 flights from London airports after its check-in systems were hit by computer problems, stranding some 20,000 passengers.
12:03PM ( 32 minutes ago )
Taylor Swift to perform at MTV Video Music Awards
Taylor Swift is set to perform at the MTV Video Music Awards later this month
12:00PM ( 35 minutes ago )