On Wednesday, August 7, 2019, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted one of the largest series of worksite enforcement operations that resulted in the arrest of almost 700 individuals who worked at food processing plants in small towns near Jackson, Mississippi. Many of these individuals have children who were left stranded upon arriving home from school, prompting educators, child care providers, and community volunteers to find ways to shelter them.
The series of events is incredibly concerning, especially due to the fear, trauma, and instability it caused for hundreds of children, which can have long-term repercussions for development, health, and well-being. Many parents have since been released from ICE custody on humanitarian grounds so they can continue caregiving of their children, but not before their children were left alone overnight with no plan and with strangers. In such enforcement events, parents should be allowed to make child care arrangements prior to being detained in order to avoid their children unnecessarily getting turned over to the child welfare agency.
In the wake of this crisis, we strongly encourage you to reach out to your networks of immigrant-serving professionals and organizations across the country to connect them to resources on preparing for future raids and minimizing the traumatic separation of children. We would like to share the following resources available to you from our partners and on our website. Please share them widely!
- The Women’s Refugee Commission has created Know Your Rights fact sheets that provide good guidance on immigrant rights (in both Englishand Spanish).
- This webpage from American Immigration Lawyers Association includes a number of resources for finding legal service providers for families, rapid response hotlines, and additional Know Your Rights information.
- This toolkit from CLINIC provides guidance on raid preparation and building rapid response teams.
- Families that are in need of locating an individual who had been detained can utilize this Online Detainee Locator to locate individuals in ICE custody.
These resources all can be found on the CICW website.
Finally, we encourage you to take action by writing Op-Eds, especially to highlight the devastating impact of enforcement operations on children’s health, well-being, and development. Here are some press release and news resources that can be referenced in crafting an Op-Ed.
- Center on Law and Social Policy (CLASP): Press Release
- Clarion Ledger:
- BBC News: US immigration: ICE arrests nearly 700 people in Mississippi raids
- NY Times:
- NPR: Mississippi Immigration Raids Lead To Arrests Of Hundreds Of Workers
- CBS News: Immigrants' kids face uncertainty after raid