US: Citizens line up for Mississippi jobs but fear the impact of ICE raids - PressFrom - US
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USCitizens line up for Mississippi jobs but fear the impact of ICE raids

02:45  14 august  2019
02:45  14 august  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

ICE released 300 of the 680 detained in raids at Mississippi food processing plants

ICE released 300 of the 680 detained in raids at Mississippi food processing plants Nearly half of the 680 people detained in Wednesday's U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement raid were released the same day, according to and ICE spokesperson. Bryan Cox, ICE spokesperson, confirmed Thursday morning that 300 people were released from custody Wednesday night. The raids happened at seven food processing plants across Mississippi Wednesday, beginning at 7:45 a.m., in Bay Springs, Carthage, Canton, Morton, Pelahatchie and Sebastapol, Cox said. Cox said Wednesday afternoon everyone taken into custody and detained would be processed but "not everyone is going to be (permanently) detained.

Although ICE arrests people a variety of ways, it’s the larger enforcement operations such as a workplace sting that draw the most attention. The Washington Post and Miami Herald reported that 10 cities are expected to be targeted in raids starting Sunday. The Herald reported those cities are

The raids took place on the first day of school for Mississippi children and images of children crying over their missing parents at a local gymnasium made Brandon says MDCPS believes most of the children being impacted by the raids are American citizens . “We want to provide as much support

FOREST, Miss. — More than 100 workers attended a job fair Monday morning in this rural Mississippi town to apply for positions made available, in part, by the largest workplace immigration raid to hit a single state in U.S. history.

Citizens line up for Mississippi jobs but fear the impact of ICE raids© Rogelio V. Solis/AP A truck loaded with chickens passes Koch Foods Inc., plant in Morton, Miss., last week following Wednesday's raid by U.S. immigration officials. The raids were part of a large-scale operation targeting plants operated by five companies. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

In a state where the poultry industry is one of the biggest drivers of the economy, some of the job applicants said they hoped the opportunities at Koch Foods, one of the meatpacking plants targeted by the raids, would improve their finances in both substantial and incremental ways.

Trump praises ICE raids in Mississippi, calls them 'a very good deterrent'

Trump praises ICE raids in Mississippi, calls them 'a very good deterrent' Trump told reporters at the White House that the raids dissuade immigrants from entering and residing in the country illegally. "I want people to know that if they come into the United States illegally, they're getting out. They're going to be brought out. And this serves as a very good deterrent," he said. ICE agents arrested roughly 680 people in Wednesday's raids, which targeted workers in poultry processing plants. Around 300 detainees were released Thursday. ICE spokesman Bryan Cox told reporters they were "returned to the place where they were originally encountered.

The line moves fast and people repeat the same motions over and over. "It's definitely hard," said Cedric Griffith of Magee, who said he's been working at Koch has hundreds of jobs posted for its Morton facilities on a Mississippi state government job board. Only a few dozen other jobs are listed

Job seekers have flocked to an employment fair in hopes of filling jobs at a Mississippi chicken Koch has hundreds of jobs posted for its Morton facilities on a Mississippi state government job board. "It tells immigrant workers that if they speak up , their worst fears will come true," she said.

They arrived seeking a steadier paycheck. A slightly higher wage. A more accommodating schedule.

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“It’s hard to move up around Forest,” said Octavius Noblin, who gets by working odd jobs in construction or hauling parts at a junkyard, often toiling outdoors in the sweltering Mississippi heat. “Jobs come and they go around here.”

Noblin, who is black and grew up in Mississippi, said he wants more stable work to help pay for the small house he and his wife bought four months ago. Monday was his fifth time applying for a job at Koch Foods this year. “I’m getting back in the process of really having money that I can really count on,” he said.

Mississippi chicken plant raided by ICE reportedly fires workers

Mississippi chicken plant raided by ICE reportedly fires workers There are unconfirmed reports that as many as 100 employees have been fired at a chicken processing plant in Morton.

The Mississippi Center for Justice is looking for people to provide legal assistance to the hundreds of immigrants impacted by the ICE raids . And, if you are an undocumented immigrant or someone else in fear of ICE detention, considering U.S. citizens have been detained, remember your rights

The line moves fast and people repeat the same motions over and over. "It's definitely hard," said Cedric Griffith of Magee, who said he's been working at Koch has hundreds of jobs posted for its Morton facilities on a Mississippi state government job board. Only a few dozen other jobs are listed

Even as many of the job hunters pondered the ways the chicken-processing jobs might bring them more stability, many of the workers — who were required to bring two forms of identification to the job fair — said they sympathized with the 680 employees whom U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said were undocumented immigrants and were arrested at seven work sites last Wednesday.

“I feel like it’s wrong to send them back because everybody deserves a second chance in life,” said Ralphtheia Nichols, 51, who has worked at several poultry plants over the years. As a mother of four who said she struggles to make ends meet, Nichols said she identifies with the people working to support their families. “These people have been living bad in their country for all these years. All they want is just a better place, a better living.”

Their sentiments challenge the narratives that typically drive the immigration debate in the United States, pitting undocumented workers against Americans seeking opportunity. The workers’ efforts to explore jobs at the meatpacking plants go against the notion that Americans have no interest in the gritty jobs often held by undocumented workers who till the nation’s farmland, slaughter and package meat, and care for the elderly.

'We are not a social services agency': What ICE did and did not do for kids left behind by Mississippi raids

'We are not a social services agency': What ICE did and did not do for kids left behind by Mississippi raids "We are a law enforcement agency, not a social services agency," an ICE official said, adding that advance notice to schools could have tipped off workers.

That’s not for taking up with law enforcement.” In many cases, the undocumented immigrants involved in last week’s raids were allegedly working under the identities of real American citizens . “Individuals know that in order to be hired, they have to get someone’s identity – real identity – in order to pass

The line moves fast and people repeat the same motions over and over. "It's definitely hard," said Cedric Griffith of Magee, who said he's been working at Koch has hundreds of jobs posted for its Morton facilities on a Mississippi state government job board. Only a few dozen other jobs are listed

But some of the workers disagree that the job market is a zero-sum game where a job held by a foreigner limits opportunities for Americans.

Citizens line up for Mississippi jobs but fear the impact of ICE raids© Us Homeland Security/Handout/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock A handout photo made available by the US Department of Homeland Security shows immigration officers executing multiple federal search warrants at one of seven processing plants across Mississippi. The operation resulted in arrests of 680 workers.

The job hopefuls expressed skepticism that the poultry plants would be able to find enough workers to replace the jobs wiped out in the ICE raids. “There are 680 jobs that were lost, and there are not 680 people here,” said Hailey Brewer, 26.

Brewer already works as a manager at a chicken plant affected by the raids but went to Monday’s job fair to apply for a day shift that would allow her to spend more time with her daughter. She said many of her colleagues were standing outside in shock when she arrived for the night shift last Wednesday.

Brewer was grateful to return to work Friday, unlike one of her co-workers, who was released after being arrested so she could care for her two children. Few employees caught up in such raids are able to work while their cases are resolved.

A man was detained during the ICE raids in Mississippi last week. His family still doesn't know where he is

A man was detained during the ICE raids in Mississippi last week. His family still doesn't know where he is At least 300 of the nearly 700 people detained during the ICE raids in Mississippi last week have been released. But Andres Gomez-Jorge isn't one of them. © WJTV Magdalena was filmed crying after her father Andres Gomez-Jorge was detained during the Mississippi ICE raids. His wife, Juana, and children are desperate to find him. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Juana says she hasn't slept since her husband was detained.

The line moves fast and people repeat the same motions over and over. “It’s definitely hard,” said Cedric Griffith of Magee, who said he’s been working at Koch has hundreds of jobs posted for its Morton facilities on a Mississippi state government job board. Only a few dozen other jobs are listed

While the raids at seven plants were unprecedented, chicken processing facilities The line moves fast and people repeat the same motions over and over. "It's definitely hard," said Cedric Griffith Koch has hundreds of jobs posted for its Morton facilities on a Mississippi state government job board.

The jobs Koch Foods recruited for Monday spanned the production line, from the “live hang” line where chickens are killed to deboning and cutting, said Dianne Bell, communications director for the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, which organized the job fair. Poultry plants frequently turn to the state for help advertising job openings for more specific needs, Bell said. But Monday’s fair, which was requested the day of the immigration raids, was more expansive than usual.

On a muggy August morning, black, white and Latino job applicants filed in and out of the Win job center, a nondescript office building where workers can apply for jobs and unemployment benefits. Some people had never worked at a chicken plant, and others were looking to return to the industry, drawn by hourly wages ranging from $9.20 to $12, well above the minimum wage of $7.25.

Nichols, the mother of four, described a Catch-22 faced by low-income workers in the area. The monthly paycheck earned from a minimum-wage job doesn’t cover basic living expenses. Yet the income is often just enough to disqualify workers from food stamps, which they rely on to feed their children.

Citizens line up for Mississippi jobs but fear the impact of ICE raids

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“How are you supposed to do that? Take care of four kids, pay your light bill, water bill, get back and forth to work,” she said. “Then you have to buy groceries — you can’t do all that for $7.25 an hour.”

ICE raids in Mississippi leave family shaken

ICE raids in Mississippi leave family shaken One mother was left to take care of nine kids alone after her sister-in-law and husband were swept up in immigration raids

The line moves fast and people repeat the same motions over and over. “It’s definitely hard Koch has hundreds of jobs posted for its Morton facilities on a Mississippi state government job board. In some places raids have led immigrants to move away. And if they stay, Stuesse said raids tend to

Sign up here. Ermelia is a single mother, who worked as a chicken cutter at the Pearl River Foods plant in But less than an hour after Ermelia’s shift began last Tuesday, ICE agents stormed the plant and She also grabbed a box of groceries and hygienic supplies, which she fears she’ll no longer be

Work at a poultry plant can be messy and dangerous. Workers with past and current experience at meatpacking plants describe gruesome scenes from the “live hang” line, where chickens are slaughtered, of bird feces and blood splattering on their faces. Employees often have to work in frigid rooms, and mistakes with the slicing equipment can be fatal. But in a state where the poultry industry employs 25,000 people, many residents have held at least one job related to chicken production.

Some people think they are ready to work at a poultry plant, but after starting the job, they may last only a few weeks, said Andy Gipson, Mississippi’s commissioner of agriculture and commerce. “It’s a constant issue trying to find workers,” Gipson said. “Immigration labor is always going to be a key component of Mississippi’s agriculture workforce, but we want to make sure that companies are operating within the law."

Koch Foods said the plants affected by the raids were able to resume operations by the time the second shift started that evening. The company does not know how many workers it lost to the raids because immigration officials seized their labor records as a part of the investigation.

Koch Foods said it has been using E-Verify, a federal database, to confirm workers’ identities for more than a decade. “Koch hires its workers using strict hiring policies and procedures and trains its people regularly on such policies and procedures,” the statement said. (The chicken producer, based near Chicago and pronounced “cook,” has no relation to the conservative political donors Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries.)

Mississippi ICE raids: Some children still don't have at least 1 parent with them, official says

Mississippi ICE raids: Some children still don't have at least 1 parent with them, official says Some children whose parents were detained in immigration raids in Mississippi last week still do not have at least one parent with them, a Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services spokeswoman said Thursday. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The department, acting on tips, verified this through home visits with the children, spokeswoman Lea Anne Brandon said. Citing privacy concerns, Brandon said she could not reveal the number of children still without at least one parent present.

The line moves fast and people repeat the same motions over and over. "It's definitely hard," said Cedric Griffith of Magee, who said he's Koch has hundreds of jobs posted for its Morton facilities on a Mississippi state government job board. Only a few dozen other jobs are listed within 10 miles of

Workers with Mississippi 's Child Protection Services are still searching for children believed to be without their Job fair after ICE raids : Here's who showed up for Koch Foods plant jobs . CPS has shared the safety check list with county offices and volunteer groups in the impacted communities.

Meanwhile, workers targeted by the raids are struggling to figure out how to support their families, including children born in the United States who are citizens. Some local churches, including the Trinity Mission Center, are collecting food, water and toiletries and distributing them to affected families.

Edwin Gonzalez, 43, has worked in forestry, landscaping, poultry farms and driving since he moved to Mississippi from Panama 22 years ago. Gonzalez, who is helping to distribute donations at the Trinity Mission Center, said the Hispanic community in the state is in a “panic” after the raids, with many workers staying home and avoiding public places out of fear that they will be rounded up next.

Many of the people who were arrested and released were told they can’t work while they wait for their immigration hearing, said Julia Solórzano, an attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit legal group that focuses on civil rights.

“It’s just not clear what the avenue is for those people to provide for their families,” said Solórzano, who traveled to Forest, Miss., from Atlanta so she could meet with parents and workers seeking legal guidance.

Because of the long backlog of immigration cases around the country, it could be months or years before some of them are resolved, she added. Even some workers not caught in the raids are scared to return to work. “This is going to have a huge ripple effect throughout this community and in this industry,” Solórzano said.

Trump administration officials defend Mississippi immigration raids.
“Something like this has been planned for over a year,” acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said.

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