Two Years After Brutal ICE Raids, 200+ MS Immigrants Have Been Deported, and 400 More Await Hearings



August 6, 2021

Contact: Amelia McGowan, Director of Immigration Law, 769-230-8003


Meanwhile, corporations that employed immigrants have faced no accountability.


Jackson, MS – Two years after ICE raids of poultry processing plants in central Mississippi (August 7, 2019), the Mississippi Center for Justice’s immigrant clients and their families face longer delays for hearings and deeper uncertainty, according to a new report from the organization. Meanwhile, not one senior executive of a poultry corporation targeted by the raids faces a single charge. Instead, the local managers of one plant are headed to trial, while the owner and the manager of an employee services contractor have pleaded guilty.


The report reveals an estimated 230 people arrested in the raids have been removed due to prior immigration orders or other causes. About 400 additional people await their hearings under increasing strains from continued poverty, a new wave of COVID infections and fear of physical attacks in their communities.


“The 2019 ICE raids destroyed immigrant communities across our state. Two years later, they continue to wreak havoc. Hundreds of immigrants are still hanging in limbo awaiting court hearings, afraid for their own livelihood and the safety of their families. Meanwhile, the corporate powerhouses who employed these immigrants have gotten off scot-free,” said Amelia McGowan, Director of Immigration at the Mississippi Center for Justice. “This is a grim reflection of our unjust immigration system overall. The powerful exploit immigrant labor for profit, while immigrants hoping to make a living for themselves and their families get punished.”


The Mississippi Center for Justice issued a series of comprehensive recommendations to reform our unjust immigration system, including:


  • Create independent immigration courts that are not a component of the Department of Justice
  • Eliminate civil immigration detention
  • Strengthen due process protections for people facing deportation
  • Provide relief to Mississippians languishing for years in removal proceedings
  • Prosecute the major players who recruit and exploit immigrant labor


The Mississippi Center for Justice represented or coordinated representation for hundreds of immigrants arrested in the 2019 ICE raids. This is the second annual report issued by MCJ on the anniversary of the Mississippi ICE Raids. The first report may be found at this link.




The Mississippi Center for Justice is dedicated to dismantling the state’s culture of inequity and injustice. Support and staffed by attorneys and other professionals, the Center pursues strategies to combat discrimination and poverty statewide.