Federal agents raid Bay Springs chicken plant

Hundreds detained across the state following ICE raids
Updated: Aug. 7, 2019 at 1:07 PM CDT
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BAY SPRINGS, Miss. (WDAM) - Federal agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and ICE Homeland Security Investigations conducted raids at multiple locations across the state Wednesday.

One of the locations is a Peco chicken plant in Bay Springs.

Witnesses at the scene tell us several people were taken into custody. A total of 680 people were detained in seven raids across Mississippi.

Armed officers stand guard outside Peco Foods in Bay Springs.
Armed officers stand guard outside Peco Foods in Bay Springs.(WDAM)

Some of the detained were identified as being eligible for an alternative to detention based on humanitarian reasons, according to a Department of Justice news release. They will be required by Homeland Security to return to their original place of detention and go before a federal immigration judge who will decide if they will be deported.

Family members of those detained can call ICE’s toll-free detainee locator hotline for information about an individual’s location and status as well as the removal process. The number is 1-88-351-4024.

U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst issued the following statement Wednesday:

The execution of federal search warrants today was simply about enforcing the rule of law in our state and throughout our great country. I commend these federal agents, our state and local law enforcement partners, and our federal prosecutors for their professionalism and dedication to ensure that those who violate our laws are held accountable. We are a nation of laws, and we will remain so by continuing to enforce our laws and ensuring that justice is done.

Peco confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security was onsite Wednesday morning at three of its Mississippi locations. Peco released the following statement to WDAM:

We can confirm the Department of Homeland Security was on-site at three of our facilities in Mississippi this morning- Bay Springs, Canton and Sebastopol. We are fully cooperating with the authorities in their investigation and are navigating a potential disruption of operations. We adhere strongly to all local, state and federal laws including utilizing the government-based E-Verify program which screens new hires through Social Security Administration as well as the Department of Homeland Security for compliance. Peco strives to be a competitive producer of quality products, maintaining respectful, ethical and transparent business relationships with all stakeholders. As such, we take all work stoppage seriously and are actively taking appropriate measures to best serve our team members’ and customers’ needs.

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