sunny.png
Saturday December 14th, 2019 3:39PM

O'Rourke visits town targeted by 'terrifying' ICE raids

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

CANTON, Miss. (AP) — Beto O'Rourke on Friday became the first Democratic presidential candidate to visit one of the Mississippi towns where federal immigration agents raided chicken processing plants and arrested nearly 700 people — kicking off a new phase of his campaign he says will focus on President Donald Trump's damaging policies.

It was the former Texas congressman's first campaign stop since he suspended his White House bid for nearly two weeks to stay in his hometown of El Paso, where a mass shooting killed 22 people on Aug. 3. The gunman drove 600-plus miles to open fire near the U.S.-Mexico border after posting an anti-immigrant screed online. O'Rourke argues that Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric helped inspire the attack.

He still plans to visit Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, which kick off presidential primary voting, but has now vowed also to travel the country to highlight the stories of some of those people that, in his view, have been most hurt by Trump administration policies.

That brought O'Rourke, a fluent Spanish-speaker, to Canton, home to a plant owned by Peco Foods Inc., which was among those raided on Aug. 7. He met privately with several immigrants in a grocery store in a neighborhood where many people come from Honduras and Guatemala. His campaign also distributed containers of eggs and bags of rice, cornmeal and black beans to immigrants who walked from a mobile home park where many live down the road from the Peco plant.

O'Rourke later told reporters that several immigrants said both they and their spouses work at the plant — one on day shift and one on night shift so someone is always home to take care of their children because their pay is too low to afford child care.

Asked why he thinks the workplace raids took place in Mississippi, O'Rourke said: "I don't know, other than to strike terror into the heart of this community."

"And if that were the goal, and I think it is from Donald Trump — we're seeing a tenfold increase in these kinds of ICE raids in his administration versus the last administration — if that is his goal, he's getting it done," he said. "He's terrifying this community — people who have done nothing to anybody else, pose no threat to America. So, there's no other reason to raid this community, other than to terrify this community."

Republican National Committee spokeswoman Christiana Purves said in a statement Friday that O'Rourke's visit "showcases just how out-of-touch he is with Mississippians who want strong borders and safe communities."

Last week's U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids at seven plants in six Mississippi communities were the largest conducted at workplaces during Trump's presidency. Images of children weeping as they pleaded for their parents to be released became national news and shook many of the affected communities to the core — touching people beyond those who worked in the poultry industry.

Still, after Trump took office, then-acting Director Thomas Homan said ICE would try to increase all worksite enforcement actions by 400%, part of a larger effort to enforce immigration law.

Agusto Lopez Coronado, 42, is from Honduras and said he has lived in the United States for 19 years, working for 10 of those years at the chicken processing plant. He said his wife, who is also from Honduras and had worked at the plant for five years, was arrested during the raid and is now jailed in Louisiana.

"We need permission to work so we won't be afraid," Coronado said in Spanish. "We've got kids who are growing up and, if we're not going to work, how are we going to live?"

Canton resident Giwada "Gi Gi" Williams, said she worries about the immigrants and their families.

"Who wants to work at the stinking chicken plants? These people — they get up and go to work," Williams said. "And then this happens to them?"

Also, Friday, O'Rourke released a plan to combat "hate, white nationalism and gun violence" that would institute a voluntary program under which the federal government would buy handguns from owners and a mandatory buyback program for assault weapons. He said that, as president, he'd declare violence associated with white supremacists as organized crime and create domestic terrorism offices within the FBI and other federal agencies to help combat it.

O'Rourke's campaign manager, Jen O'Malley Dillon, noted that the campaign halted virtually all fundraising efforts while O'Rourke was in El Paso out of respect for the shooting victims, saying in an email to supporters, "We've just suffered several of our lowest fundraising days of the campaign."

"Moving forward, we're going to be working with a fire under us," O'Malley Dillon wrote. "We are going to be as clear and as strong as possible in drawing our contrasts with Donald Trump."

___

Weissert reported from Washington.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, AP Business, AP Elections - Campaigns, 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.
O'Rourke visits town targeted by 'terrifying' ICE raids
Democrat Beto O'Rourke has become the first presidential candidate to visit Mississippi towns where federal immigration agents raided chicken plants and arrested nearly 700 people
5:01PM ( 7 minutes ago )
AP source: Jets lose LB Williamson for season with torn ACL
AP source: Jets lose LB Williamson for season with torn ACL
5:01PM ( 7 minutes ago )
'After the Wedding' was a family affair for Julianne Moore
Making 'After the Wedding' was a family affair for Julianne Moore with her husband and daughter on set
5:00PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Greenland to Trump: Thanks, but we're not for sale
Greenland says it's happy President Donald Trump has taken an interest in the nation, but that it's not for sale
4:17PM ( 51 minutes ago )
'A heavy lift': Religious black voters weigh Buttigieg's bid
'A heavy lift': Religious black voters weigh Pete Buttigieg's 2020 presidential bid
3:24PM ( 1 hour ago )
Tlaib declines to visit West Bank, citing Israeli conditions
Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib says she will not visit her relatives in the occupied West Bank despite being granted an Israeli permit on humanitarian grounds, saying Israel's "oppressive" conditions aimed to humiliate her
3:19PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Trump ties US success to 2nd term: 'You have to vote for me'
At a rally in New Hampshire, President Donald Trump tried to reassure his supporters about the state of the economy and told them that their financial security depends on his reelection
7:17AM ( 9 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump focuses on mental illness, not gun control
President Donald Trump says that in the wake of two mass shootings in Ohio and Texas this month that he wants to focus on mental illness to prevent mass gun violence, not gun control
6:31AM ( 10 hours ago )
Even as some cringe, Rep. Steve King's support may endure
Rep. Steve King's recent insensitive comments about rape are the kind that have doomed other political candidates, but some fellow Iowa Republicans say they actually could help his re-election chances by reinforcing his socially conservative credentials
9:19PM ( 19 hours ago )
AP Elections
Trump returning to state that jump-started his 2016 bid
President Donald Trump is returning to the state that gave him his first presidential primary victory, looking to once again demonstrate his popularity with New Hampshire's Republican voters and to take a few cracks at his many Democratic challengers
3:00PM ( 1 day ago )
O'Rourke restarting White House bid as battle against Trump
Democrat Beto O'Rourke is recasting his presidential campaign as he rejoins the race
2:44PM ( 1 day ago )
AP source: John Hickenlooper ending his 2020 White House bid
AP source: Former 2-term Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is dropping out of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary
8:50AM ( 1 day ago )
General Election News
Judge: Georgia must scrap old voting machines after 2019
A federal judge has ordered Georgia to stop using its outdated voting machines after this year, and to be ready with hand-marked paper ballots if its new system isn't in place for the presidential primaries
2:53PM ( 1 day ago )
Rep. Steve King says rapes, incest helped populate the world
US Rep Steve King is defending his call for a ban on all abortions by questioning whether there would be "any population of the world left' if not for births due to rape and incest
5:16AM ( 1 day ago )
AP source: John Hickenlooper to end 2020 bid on Thursday
AP source: John Hickenlooper will drop out of the Democratic presidential primary on Thursday
2:41AM ( 1 day ago )
General Presidential Election News
NASA picks Alabama's 'Rocket City' for lunar lander job
NASA has picked Alabama's 'Rocket City' to manage astronauts' next lunar lander
4:20PM ( 49 minutes ago )
Trump appoints student loan industry exec to watchdog job
The Trump administration appoints longtime student loan industry executive to be the government's top watchdog for the $1.5 trillion student loan market
3:40PM ( 1 hour ago )
Stocks move broadly higher as turbulent week nears its end
Stocks moved broadly higher in afternoon trading at the end of a wildly turbulent week
3:34PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
California congressman pushes for delay of corruption trial
U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter wants to push back his trial on charges of spending campaign cash on vacations and extramarital affairs while attorneys for the California Republican keep pressing to get the case dismissed
1:19PM ( 3 days ago )
California lawmaker wants corruption trial postponed
California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter wants federal court in San Diego to postpone his Sept. 10 corruption trial while attorneys appeal judge's refusal last month to dismiss the case
1:56AM ( 3 days ago )
Texas lawmakers ask state police to investigate GOP scandal
Texas lawmakers ask state police to investigate allegations that Republican House Speaker Dennis Bonnen offered media credentials to a hardline conservative activist in exchange for campaigning against a group of GOP incumbents
3:18PM ( 4 days ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Lawyer: Iranian supertanker captain no longer wants the job
The captain of an Iranian supertanker caught in a diplomatic standoff no longer wants to be in command of the ship, which is in need of repairs that could prevent its immediate departure from Gibraltar, his lawyer said.
12:23PM ( 4 hours ago )
Flooding, a trade war and Deere cuts outlook again
Deere & Co. pulls back on profit forecasts for the year as flooding and a trade fight with China hammers farmers
9:40AM ( 7 hours ago )
Flooding, a trade war and Deere cuts outlook for the year
Deere & Co. pulls back on profit forecasts for the year as flooding and a trade fight with China hammers farmers
8:31AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Monarch symbol of species in crisis as US protections shrink
Monarch butterflies are among the struggling species that will be more difficult to protect as the Trump administration moves to weaken the Endangered Species Act
11:22AM ( 2 days ago )
Trump order could weaken protections for monarch butterflies
Monarch butterflies are among the struggling species that will be more difficult to protect as the Trump administration moves to weaken the Endangered Species Act
8:52AM ( 2 days ago )
The plight of the monarchs: Trump order weakens protections
Monarch butterflies are among the struggling species that will be harder to protect as the Trump administration moves to weaken Endangered Species Act
7:10PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Business - Agriculture
Immigration raids to have long-term effects on poultry towns
The largest immigration raid in at least a decade is likely to ripple for years through six Mississippi small towns that host poultry plants
2:07AM ( 1 week ago )
The Latest: Workers released after raids included juveniles
Federal officials say the of hundreds of workers released after a large-scale immigration raid at Mississippi poultry plants included juveniles
6:17PM ( 1 week ago )
Largest US immigration raids in a decade net 680 arrests
U.S. immigration officials arrest 680 people in raids on Mississippi chicken food processing plants making it the largest workplace sting in at least a decade
8:30AM ( 1 week ago )
AP Business - Poultry & Egg
AP source: Jets lose LB Williamson for season with torn ACL
AP source: Jets lose LB Williamson for season with torn ACL
5:01PM ( 8 minutes ago )
'After the Wedding' was a family affair for Julianne Moore
Making 'After the Wedding' was a family affair for Julianne Moore with her husband and daughter on set
5:00PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Medical examiner confirms Epstein death a suicide by hanging
Jeffrey Epstein's prison death has been confirmed a suicide by hanging, the medical examiner's office said Friday
4:58PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Eataly severs ties with Mario Batali amid misconduct scandal
Celebrity chef Mario Batali, whose career crumbled amid sexual misconduct allegations, no longer owns a stake in Eataly
4:57PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Colorado OKs electric car requirement to fight air pollution
Colorado is tightening its air quality regulations, requiring 5% of vehicles sold in the state by 2023 emit zero pollution
4:56PM ( 13 minutes ago )