Last week (on August 7, 2019), U.S. immigration agents arrested 680 adult immigrants at food processing plants across the state of Mississippi. This is thought to be the largest single immigration raid in U.S. history.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted the raids that spanned seven cities resulting in the nearly 700 arrests. These sudden arrests have many negative consequences but ripping apart families and upsetting the unsuspecting children is the worst one.
Hundreds of children were left behind without the care of their parents leaving them to cry alone in school gyms. They're being cared for by strangers or neighbors who happened to step up and try to help these distraught kids.
Kids as young as toddlers sobbed for their parents while older ones tried to vouch for their parents, begging for their safe and quick return. Reports from news personnel allowed in the spaces they're being held said that some kids haven't stopped crying.
Scary Mommy reported on these raids and shared their personal disgust for the sudden tearing apart of the families. In addition to being suddenly orphaned, many of these kids started school this week. So not only are they adjusting to a new school year, they're dealing with the most beloved people in their lives being ripped away from them.
Adults would have a difficult time in this situation. These kids' support systems were gone in a second. Local news WJTV also reported on this story interviewing some of the older kids. 11-year-old Magdalena Gomez Gregorio spoke with the station begging for her parents.
Gregoria cried on camera saying, “Government please show some heart. Let my parent be free. I need my dad and mommy." Can you imagine the emotional pain and terror all of these children are feeling? They're the innocent victims in America's renewed war on illegal immigration.
These raids happened with the support of US Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi Mike Hurst. He told reporters, " “Today, through the hard work of these men and women, we are once again becoming a nation of laws." No one agrees with illegal immigration but we should all agree on humanity. The immigration process in the U.S. needs an overhaul and there needs to be a clearer, cheaper, and shorter way to citizenship.
These large raids have been rumored to happen for weeks but this is a huge one. ICE shared that this raid was over a year in the making and was well planned. We at BabyGaga feel for these children, who are American citizens, and for their losses at this time. Illegal or not, children and families should never be separated in this manner.
We can only hope that these children will be reunited with their parents as soon as possible and that their parents are given a clear path to residency or citizenship.