Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents swept through seven poultry processing plants in Mississippi this week and arrested 680 people. It was the largest single-state raid in U.S. history.
The mass arrests also came on the first day of the school year, and some children walked home from school only to find their doors locked and their family members missing.
Wednesday’s raids targeted chicken processing plants operated by Koch Foods, one of the largest poultry producers in the U.S.
Last year, the company paid out $3.75 million to settle an Equal Employment Opportunities Commission class-action suit charging the company with sexual harassment, national origin and race discrimination, and retaliation against Latino workers at one of its Mississippi plants.
Labor activists say it’s the latest raid to target factories where immigrant workers have organized unions, fought back against discrimination or challenged unsafe and unsanitary conditions.
Democracy Now! speaks with Jackson, Mississippi, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba and L. Patricia Ice, legal projects director at the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance.
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