House Democrat criticizes Mississippi chicken plant raids

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The chairman of the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee says it’s “disappointing” that President Donald Trump’s administration is selectively enforcing laws to apprehend undocumented workers but not prosecute employers.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, made the criticism during a hearing about federal immigration raids in August at seven Mississippi chicken processing plants where agents arrested 680 mostly Guatemalan workers.

Witnesses are calling the enforcement action unnecessary, inhumane and demeaning. Criticism is particularly focused on the continuing trauma of children who had no parents to return home to.

Cliff Johnson, a University of Mississippi law professor, questions the decision to indict 119 people so far on federal criminal charges including illegal re-entry to the United States and document fraud. Many are already pleading guilty.

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