US immigration officials raided seven Mississippi chicken processing plants, arresting 680 mostly Latino workers in the largest workplace sting in at least a decade.
Authorities believed it is the largest single-state raid of workplaces in the nation’s history.
About 600 US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents fanned out across the plants operated by five companies, surrounding the perimeters to prevent workers from fleeing.
About 65 kilometers east of the capital of Jackson, workers filled three buses — two for men and one for women — at a Koch Foods Inc. plant.
Those arrested 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.
They executed multiple federal criminal warrants at seven sites across Mississippi as part of multiple ongoing criminal probes, the Justice Department said in a statement.
President Donald Trump has adopted a hard line on immigration — both legal and illegal — since coming to office in 2017.