Immigration Activists Threaten Lawsuits Following Weekend SweepBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 23 Feb 2011 12:36pm |
Immigration Activists in Mississippi are considering filing lawsuits against the federal government following a weekend immigration sweep. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that nearly 60 illegal immigrants have been arrested in the four day sweep in Central Mississippi.
Chanting 'yes we can' a group of immigration activist packed the small downtown Jackson office of the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance.
They are upset by a recent 4-day immigration sweep by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement that led to the arrests of 58 undocumented immigrants.
Angela Rector says the father of her three children was arrested and deported in the weekend sweep.
"They come in. Talking about 'get up', no shoes, no nothing, in your boxers. (they said) 'You're F-ing illegal. We taking you, your fixing to be deported'. It don't make no sense at all. Why are they having to scare people. That's stupid. Its ridiculous," Rector said.
The activist are angry with the tactics ICE agents used, such as arresting undocumented immigrants without them being named in a specific warrant.
ICE spokesman Temple Black says the sweep was initiated by a targeted search for suspected criminals. He says a warrant isn't needed if they find other undocumented immigrants.
"Well we can't turn a blind eye to an individual if there are illegally in the country. So the agents have to follow up and perform their duty and detain those folks," Black said.
58 people were arrested in the Jackson Metro area.
Black says 23 of those people arrested were wanted for crimes other than illegal immigration.
Buster White is the manager of Colonial Terrace, an apartment complex in Pearl that was part of the search. White says agents came to him with a warrant naming one of his tenants....so he unlocked the door to the apartment.
"I hate it. The door that I opened is a Mexican I have had here for two or three years. And I hate it that they went in a got them all. They were after one. And they got the one. But they got the rest of them too," White said.
White says his complex was more than half Hispanic and that these arrests will run off tenants.
Last year, immigration sweeps like these resulted in the deportation of nearly 400-thousand immigrants from the United States.
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