About 300 of the 680 illegal aliens arrested by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency at Mississippi food processing plants on Wednesday were released the same day on “humanitarian grounds,” officials confirm.
This week, ICE raided seven food processing plants across Mississippi, arresting a total of 680 illegal workers in the largest single-state operation in United States history and the largest workplace enforcement raid in 11 years, Breitbart News reported.
The same day, though, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and ICE confirmed that about 300 illegal workers were released back into the U.S. on “humanitarian grounds.” The Clarion Ledger first reported their release.
ICE spokesman Bryan Cox confirmed to Breitbart News that the 300 illegal workers released “were placed into removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts and will have a court date at a future time.”
In a news release, law enforcement officials said ICE agents “concluded their processing of detained aliens last night and followed their procedures by releasing many on humanitarian grounds.”
Specifically, roughly 30 of the illegal workers arrested by ICE were released on humanitarian grounds while an additional 270 illegal workers were released after being processed by federal officials with the expectation that they will return to immigration court.
All of the illegal workers were asked whether they have children in schools or childcare services that needed to be picked up and were allowed to call family members, friends, and relatives to arrange pick ups for their children. ICE officials said officers worked directly with local Mississippi school districts to ensure children were cared for.
Also, ICE officials said that if two married illegal workers had minor children at home, one of the workers was released from custody on humanitarian grounds and returned to their job site in order to tend to their children. Single parents, likewise, were released from custody in the same circumstances.
Federal officials said some of the hundreds of illegal aliens arrested in the raids already have deportation orders from an immigration judge and have refused to self-deport. Those illegal aliens will be quickly deported.
The food processing plants raided by ICE include the Koch Foods Inc. facility in Morton, Mississippi, as well as other plants in Bay Springs, Carthage, Canton, Pelahatchie, and Sebastapol. The Koch Foods plant is not associated with the GOP mega-donor billionaires Charles and David Koch.
ICE officials previously said they could not provide details on the operation because investigations into the illegal workers and their employers are ongoing.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.