Wednesday, August 7, 2019
The following is a verbatim press release from United States Attorney Mike Hurst's office in Jackson:
Jackson, Miss. - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), in partnership with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Mississippi, executed multiple federal criminal search warrants this morning for evidence relating to various federal crimes, as well as administrative search warrants searching for individuals illegally present in the United States, at seven sites across the State of Mississippi, announced Acting Director of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Matthew Albence, Jere Miles, HSI Special Agent in Charge in New Orleans, and Mike Hurst, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi.
"HSI's worksite enforcement efforts are equally focused on aliens who unlawfully seek work in the U.S. as well as the employers who knowingly hire them," said HSI New Orleans Special Agent in Charge Miles.
Private prisons in Mississippi used to house immigrants who committed felonies; now they're housing refugees. Ashton Pittman reports.
"The execution of federal search warrants today was simply about enforcing the rule of law in our state and throughout our great country. I commend these federal agents, our state and local law enforcement partners, and our federal prosecutors for their professionalism and dedication to ensure that those who violate our laws are held accountable. We are a nation of laws, and we will remain so by continuing to enforce our laws and ensuring that justice is done," said U.S. Attorney Hurst.
As a result of today's operation, approximately 680 aliens were detained by HSI special agents. Some are being identified as being eligible for an alternative to detention based on humanitarian reasons. These individuals will be physically returned by HSI to their original place of detention and will still be required to appear before a federal immigration judge who will ultimately determine whether or not they will be deported. Currently, all cases are being handled via administrative law procedures at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Family members of those detained can call ICE's toll-free detainee locator hotline for information about an individual's detention location and status, as well as information about the removal process. This hotline operates in English and Spanish. The phone number is 1-888-351-4024.
All of those detained are being interviewed, fingerprinted and photographed by ICE agents, processed for removal from the United States, and transported to an ICE facility in Jena, Louisiana.
This operation is part of multiple ongoing criminal investigations.
Read more immigration coverage at jacksonfreepress.com/immigration.