After 680 illegal aliens were caught in Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids in Mississippi in August, more than 100 were charged with crimes, including illegally returning to the U.S. after being deported, falsely claiming to be U.S. citizens, falsifying immigration papers, and stealing the identity of 400 American citizens by illegally using their Social Security numbers.
A good proportion of the 119 illegals who were apprehended during raids of seven food processing plants on August 7 pleaded guilty, with many more expected to do so as the proceedings move forward.
“To date, 47 of the 119 indicted illegal aliens have pled guilty, with a number of others indicating their intent to plead guilty,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Department of Justice in the Southern District of Mississippi announced. “Of those who have already pled guilty, 26 admitted to fraudulently using the Social Security number of an American citizen… [while] the other 21 of these illegal aliens have pled guilty to unlawfully reentering the United States after having been previously deported or removed .... The remaining have been charged with these same crimes, as well as some charged with falsely claiming to be a United States citizen … and making false statements in immigration documents ….”
Hundreds of U.S. citizens had their identities stolen by many of the individuals who were seized in the raids.
“Department of Homeland Security investigators discovered that the identities of 400 American citizens were stolen and used by illegal immigrants who were arrested this summer during immigration raids on Mississippi poultry plants, an official disclosed Thursday,” TheBlaze reported.
Identity theft a serious crime
Contradicting the claims of open-borders Democrats – that immigrants entering the U.S. illegally don’t harm American citizens – U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst (R-S. Dist. of Miss.) pointed out that many of their entries are at the expense of Americans having their identities stolen and financial standing compromised.
"Americans have been directly harmed by the theft of their identities, resulting in citizens not being able to get loans or credit cards, obtain health insurance and perform other basic activities,” Hurst explained in a statement prepared by the Justice Department. “Every single one of the 680 aliens arrested in August broke our nation’s laws by coming to our country illegally.”
He stressed how immigrants are not above the law and that the government has the duty of protecting U.S. citizens from being exploited by illegals.
“Turning a blind eye to their illegal acts would not be fair to our nation, their victims, or the millions of naturalized American citizens who waited years and meticulously followed the process by which to become an American,” Hurst continued.
“It is our job in the U.S. Attorney’s Office to enforce our federal laws equitably and fairly, and we have done so and will continue to vigorously do so, protecting all Americans and ensuring the national security and sovereignty of our country is upheld."
Taking illegal labor seriously
The August ICE raids mobilized hundreds of federal agents to enforce workforce compliance with U.S. laws, but the immigration officials were mindful of any potential negative impact on families with children.
“The operation back in August involved nearly 600 agents,” Townhall informed. “ICE said staff was interviewing the foreign nationals after the raid to ‘record any potential mitigating humanitarian situations.’"
After apprehending hundreds of illegals, Hurst disclosed at a press conference – while standing next to Acting ICE Director Matthew Albence – that the size of the operation was unprecedented.
“[The large-scale raids collectively represented] the largest single state immigration enforcement operation in our nation's history," Hurst informed reporters, according to an August CBS News report.
He emphasized that the U.S. has always received immigrants – but according to laws and regulations – and that those coming into the country illegally must be brought to justice.
"While we are a nation of immigrants, more than that, we are first and foremost a nation of laws," Hurst added.
Many of the illegals who were apprehended already had criminal records and were regarded as a threat to society.
“Hurst said authorities relied on both criminal and administrative warrants to execute Wednesday's raids at seven different work sites,” CBS News recounted. “Administrative warrants are usually used by ICE to detain people who are in the U.S. unlawfully but otherwise do not have criminal records.”
Open-borders activists in the Democratic Party seized the opportunity to paint President Donald Trump and the White House as racially motivated and to accuse the administration of terrorizing the Latino community by upholding immigration laws.
Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) – who also serves as the chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus – condemned Trump shortly after the raids.
"Let's be clear: ICE raids of this scale are not conducted for the purpose of immigration enforcement – they're to strike fear in our communities in a time when Latinos are already living in terror," Castro claimed in a statement.