680 Undocumented Immigrants Detained In Mississippi Raids

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680 Undocumented Immigrants Detained In Mississippi Raids

The're the largest raids of their kind in more than a decade.

JASKSON, Miss. -- Immigration raids at seven food processing plants in Mississippi are being called the largest workplace enforcement action in a single state in the nation's history.  U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst issued a warning to employers after yesterday's raids. 

"If you use illegal aliens for a competitive advantage or to make a quick buck," he said. "If we find that you have violated federal criminal law we are coming after you."

Hurst says 680 people suspected of being in this country illegally were detained and taken to the Air National Guard base in Flowood. The acting director of ICE says they'll go before an immigration judge to see if they should be allowed to stay in the U.S. 

The raids took place at six different plants.  And there's been criticism. The Southern Poverty Law Center says children were ripped away from their parents during the first week of school. 

A senior immigration official with knowledge of the investigation said ICE used confidential informants employed at several of the raided food processing plants to identify managers or supervisors who knew they were hiring undocumented workers. In some cases, immigration enforcement received audio and video recordings.

The mayor of Jackson, Mississippi calls the raids "dehumanizing and ineffective" and is asking churches in the city to become immigrant sanctuaries. 

(PHOTO: CNN/Getty Images)

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