Trump administration defends Ice raids and says timing was ‘unfortunate’
Acting head of homeland security admits raids in Mississippi were badly timed after El Paso attacks targeting Mexicans
Trump administration officials are defending last weeks mass immigration raids in Mississippi, including emotional footage of a girl pleading with authorities to let her father go.
Acting Customs and Border Protection commissioner Mark Morgan acknowledged that video of the 11-year-old sobbing was emotional but says the girl was quickly reunited with her mother.
He said Sunday on CNN: I understand that the girl is upset. And I get that. But her father committed a crime.
Meanwhile, acting homeland security secretary Kevin McAleenan acknowledged the timing of the raids was unfortunate, coming hours before Donald Trump visited El Paso, Texas, where a man who told authorities he was targeting Mexicans killed 22 people on 3 August.
However, McAleenan told NBC the operation had been planned for more than a year.
Almost 700 immigrants were held on 7 August as part of a series of raids at worksites throughout the state.
Latino communities in Mississippi are on edge after the raids, with residents saying they fear going outside.
More major raids aimed at picking up undocumented immigrants are, however, likely soon despite a flood of outrage at the huge operation last week targeting poultry plants in Mississippi.
Trumps White House has ordered US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) agents to identify more targets across the country, according to a report by CNN. The network said the raids would be specifically aimed at workplaces, just like those in Mississippi.