U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers detained around 680 undocumented workers in a raid in Mississippi Wednesday. A federal prosecutor said the raid on multiple food processing plants was the "largest single-state immigration enforcement operation" in U.S. history.
"While we are a nation of immigrants, more than that we are first and foremost a nation of laws," said Mike Hurst, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi.
Nearly 600 agents surrounded seven work sites across the state and loaded mainly Latino workers onto buses. Agents also seized business records from the plants.
ICE hasn't said how many people it intended to arrest in the operation, and how many people were what it calls "collateral" arrests.
ICE may release some people on a case-by-case basis. The agency says it's interviewing the detained immigrants to consider criminal and immigration history, as well as potential humanitarian situations in the immigrants' home countries.
The raid was part of a larger Homeland Security investigation into the employment of undocumented immigrants in Mississippi.
Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.