Former Congressman Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke met with illegal immigrants in Mississippi on Friday after ICE arrested 680 illegal workers in food processing plants in the state.
O’Rourke barred the press from his meeting with the illegal immigrants inside a grocery store in Canton, Mississippi, but later allowed them to watch him passing out food donations to the some of the families of those who were deported. He said that the illegal immigrants he met were terrified to step out in public after the raids.
“He is terrifying this community,” an outraged O’Rourke said, according to the Jackson Free-Press.
He expressed sadness at the raid, telling reporters that ICE raids had increased tenfold compared to former President Barack Obama’s administration.
“If that is his goal, he is getting it done, he is terrifying this community, people who have done nothing to anybody else posed no threat to America, so there’s no other reason to raise this community other than to terrify this community,” he said.
O’Rourke said that many of the illegal immigrants he met were worried about paying their rent, and how to afford legal fees for their captured relatives.
“We’re going to talk to local organizers in the community to find out how we can direct resources for those fellow [sic] Americans who want to help this community right now,” he said.
O’Rourke said his visit to Mississippi was an effort to remind Americans just how dangerous Trump had become, accusing him of targeting Hispanic immigrants to the country, recalling the mass shooting at an El Paso, Texas Walmart.
“When I heard what happened in Mississippi, it was another dot that we’ve got to connect for the American people, that massacre in El Paso did not happen in a vacuum, this raid did not happen in a vacuum – there is an attack on immigrations specifically Hispanics in this country right now under this administration,” he said.