Immigration agents made a record number of arrests during a series of raids on Wednesday, the same day President Donald Trump visited El Paso, Texas in response to a deadly shooting in the city over the weekend.
The Associated Press reported that ICE arrested 680 people, who were mostly Latino, while raiding several food processing plants in Mississippi.
It’s unclear whether the raids were intentionally scheduled for the same day as Trump’s visit to El Paso.
Acting ICE director Matthew Albence told the AP that the raids were part of a “long-term operation that’s been going on.”
“Our enforcement operations are being done on a racially neutral basis,” Albence said. “Investigations are based on evidence.”
The El Paso massacre, which led to the death of 22 people, is currently being investigated as a hate crime after law enforcement discovered a racist manifesto ranting against a “Hispanic invasion” that may have been written by the suspected gunman.
Trump, who has derided immigration at the southern border as an “invasion,” has pushed for harsh measures against undocumented immigrants and asylum-seekers by ordering mass raids by immigration officials.
- -Hiring More Journalists
- -Providing free memberships to those who cannot afford them
- -Supporting independent, non-corporate journalism