Undocumented Workers Provide Employers With Little Risk, Large Reward

The campaign against undocumented laborers escalated to its most severe crackdown in over a decade when federal agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided five poultry processing facilities in Mississippi last week, sweeping up 680 people on suspicion of unlawful status.

News Story (Mississippi)

Asher Stockler
August 16, 2019

Tags: Immigration

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


Many immigrants whose family members were swept up in the Mississippi raids are still looking for their loved ones, according to Amelia McGowan, a senior attorney at the Mississippi Center for Justice who helped coordinate legal representation for impacted families.

The raids resurfaced old fears about ICE worksite actions that were triggered most significantly in 2006, when the agency conducted a worksite raid of six Swift & Company meatpacking plants in the Midwest, the largest single worksite immigration operation in U.S. history. The Swift raids live in the cultural memory of immigration stakeholders, and they came up multiple times in discussions with attorneys about the sustainability of the current system.

“There’s definitely a concern that more raids will occur soon,” McGowan said. “People have expressed that they’re sort of living in apprehension all the time. Part of it is just the unknown. That’s the biggest thing, the unknown.”