On Wednesday, about 600 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents raided seven Mississippi chicken-processing plants, arresting 680 illegal immigrant workers in the largest workplace sting in at least a decade. The far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) linked this law enforcement action to the anti-immigrant anti-corporation eco-terrorist who murdered 22 people in El Paso, Texas, over the weekend.
“Today’s raids are part of the ongoing war against immigrant families and the communities in which they live. These sorts of raids terrorize workers and their families,” SPLC Immigrant Justice Project Attorney Julia Solórzano said in a statement. “What’s more, today’s raids needlessly ripped parents from their children during the first week of school. ”
She then linked the “terrorizing” law enforcement raids to the El Paso shooter. “It is especially sickening that days after immigrants were targeted by a gunman in El Paso, Texas, workers at plants across Mississippi witnessed armed agents descending on their workplace,” Solórzano added.
She concluded her statement by suggesting the SPLC may take legal action against the legal detention of illegal immigrants.
“Our attorneys and advocates are closely monitoring the situation and exploring options to assist those impacted,” the lawyer added.
The raids took place hours before President Donald Trump visited El Paso to mourn with the victims of the horrific shooting. The president vocally condemned racism, bigotry, and white supremacy in the wake of the attack. While the media has focused on white supremacy, and many Democrats blamed Trump for the attack, the terrorist’s manifesto expressed hatred toward immigrants, corporations, and polluters of the environment, not exactly white supremacy.
The ICE raids had no connection to the attack. Bryan Cox, ICE communications director for the southern region, told PJ Media that the raids “took months of planning.”
While liberals often demonize immigration enforcement for separating families, Cox noted that “every law enforcement agency in the nation arrests persons who may be parents when those persons commit arrestable offenses, and this agency has taken extensive steps to take special care of situations” involving children. “All of the arrestees were advised when they arrived at the processing center to let ICE officers know if they had any children who were at school or childcare and needed to be picked up.”
“In order to make it possible for arrestees to contact other family members and address childcare issues, HSI procured cell phones that are available at the processing site for use by arrestees to make arrangements for the care of their children or other dependents,” Cox added.
Not only did ICE provide phones to the arrestees, the agency also called schools to see if any children needed to be picked up. “When the enforcement operation commenced, two HSI employees were designated to contact schools in the area of the businesses being searched to notify them of the operation and provide contact information in the event that the schools became aware of any children whose parents did not pick them up,” Cox said.
While it may be terrifying to be arrested for breaking the law, the ICE raids do not constitute a kind of terrorism at all. For the SPLC to accuse ICE of terrorizing immigrants and to link these actions to the terrorism in El Paso is disgusting.
In fact, it may further incite violence against ICE, just like the rhetoric of comparing immigration detention centers to concentration camps, a phrase that evokes the Holocaust. That rhetoric has already inspired a bona fide terrorist attack on an ICE facility that could have killed hundreds of immigrants.
While the media wrongly blames Trump for inciting the El Paso shooter, the SPLC should think twice about demonizing law enforcement. After all, at least one terrorist has targeted an organization the SPLC marked out on its “hate map.”
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.