U.S. defends secretive Mississippi ICE raids as local, state officials decry effect on children

Amelia McGowan, an attorney for the Mississippi Center for Justice, said she believes the state was targeted because “there is very little legal support” for immigrant communities there.

News Story (Mississippi)

Nick Miroff
Washington Post
August 8, 2019

Tags: ICE Raids

Organizations mentioned/involved: Mississippi Center for Justice (MCJ)


McGowan, a Mississippi native, put a call out to attorneys to help in the hundreds of arrest cases. Within the first hour, 35 attorneys responded.

“I’m very proud of the local response,” McGowan said. “What’s cropping up now is the need for help finding people. Then there is long-term immigration help, and help right now for children whose parents have been detained.”

Many of those arrested, she said, were sent to Louisiana for longer-term detention. Attorneys say it is less expensive to house the immigrants there, approximately $28 per person each day.

Among McGowan’s clients is a 19-year-old woman from Guatemala who is seeking political asylum. She and her uncle were both arrested in the raids, and McGowan has yet to reach them.