ICE Raids in Mississippi Leave Children Stranded in the Streets and Crying for Their Parents...
Massive Mississippi Raids Mark Major Step in FASCISM



On August 7, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) raided seven food processing plants and arrested about 680 people in several Mississippi towns. The raids ripped holes in these communities, and were designed to terrorize people across the country. BuzzFeedNews reported that a pastor in one of the towns where a raid occurred said, “People are terrified. They’re scared to death.”

As the sun rose, a swarm of 600 ICE agents rolled off in buses across northern Mississippi and surrounded the plants. Gun toting agents pulled people off their lines, cuffed them and marched them in front of cameras in what ICE’s acting director called a “textbook operation.” A U.S. attorney boasted that this was the “largest single-state worksite enforcement action in the nation’s history.”

Children coming home from their first day of school found their parents gone. A Jackson TV station reported that “neighbors, and even strangers” picked up children dropped off at empty homes and took them to a local gym that became a makeshift shelter. A woman who went to the gym told a reporter she knew the mother of some boys there. She said, “[T]heir mom has been here for 15 years and she has no record.” A weeping Magdalena Gomez Gregorio, 11, said to a TV reporter, “Government, please show some heart. Let my parent be free with everybody else please…. I need my dad and mommy. My dad didn’t do anything, he’s not a criminal.”

Many people arrested were immediately transported to warehouses to be “interviewed, fingerprinted and photographed by ICE agents, processed for removal from the United States, and transported to an ICE facility in Jena, Louisiana,” (statement of the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of Mississippi). By the end of the day, about 300 of the people arrested had been released by ICE. Some of these people were juveniles, as young as 14.

Which Side Are You On?

ICE claimed it released some people on “humanitarian” grounds, to reunite children with their parents. This transparent lie is vicious even by ICE standards. ICE’s official statement says that “In all cases, all the illegal aliens encountered as part of this operation are either being placed into removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts, and for those who already received due process and have been ordered removed, processed for removal from the US.” In other words, ICE fully intends to deport everyone arrested.

The raids occurred during a week that saw mass slaughter of Mexican and Chicano people in El Paso. They came on the same day Trump visited El Paso, a city which has been central to his rabid, fascist attacks on Mexicans from the moment he launched his campaign for the presidency. These events are part of a process of ethnic cleansing, by the state, by white supremacist vigilantes, and racist mobs.

Then, on Friday after the Mississippi raids, Trump promised more of the same. “I want people to know that if they come into the United States illegally, they’re getting out; they’re going to be brought out. And this [the raids and the images of crying children] serves as a very good deterrent... I just hope they keep it up.”

Listen to what these fascists are telling you. The raids and arrests are going to intensify. They intend to deport everyone caught up in them. They don’t give a good goddamn about the kids and their families.

These horrors will continue on an even larger scale if they aren’t countered with fierce resistance by masses of people of all nationalities, immigrant and non-immigrant. A reporter for the New York Times quoted a Chicano lawyer in Texas who said after El Paso, “Many clients tell me, ‘We’re the new Jews, we’re just like the Jews.’” And remember, at the same time, Trump has been using straight-up Hitler-style language to describe the oppressed areas in which masses of Black people are forced to live, talking about “infestation” and “vermin.”

This is no time to put your hopes in the delusion that the Democrats will finally call for the kind of resistance needed to stop this fascist onslaught. They aren’t—and they can’t and they won’t. The Democrats represent the same system of capitalism-imperialism as the Republicans. This is a system whose vampire heart is nourished by ever more relentless exploitation of literally billions of people on this planet, backed up by the kind of cruel repression and violence on display in Mississippi, El Paso, and along the length of the border. If anything cries out for an actual revolution to overthrow this system, it is the demonization, criminalization, and massive deportation of immigrants—the ramping up of violent ethnic cleansing with a definite genocidal logic at its core.

Time is short, and decisions must be made. As the National Revolution Tour said in the statement on the El Paso massacre, “The question is, WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON? Are you on the side of white supremacy and fascism? Or are you on the side of ending this oppression?”

What are you going to do now?

Magdalena Gomez Gregorio, 11 years old, pleads for the return of her father.

Photo: ICE

U.S. Immigration raided several Mississippi food processing plants, including this Koch Foods Inc. plant in Morton, Miss., Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019. The early morning raids were part of a large-scale operation targeting allegedly undocumented employees.

Photo: AP


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