A Mississippi official says that hundreds of people have applied for jobs at a food processing facility in the state after a massive worksite immigration operation swept up many of its workers.
According to a report at the Clarion Ledger, Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) communications director Dianne Bell said that the number of applicants for jobs at the plant was at 216 on Wednesday but would likely be updated.
Bell also told the newspaper that a job fair put together to address the newfound employee shortage at the Koch Foods plant in Morton, Mississippi, was originally scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, but had to be extended to 5 p.m. due to the level of interest.
The company reached out to MDES for help with filling positions after the worksite raid caused an employee shortage that forced parts of the Morton plant to close the day after.
Last week, federal immigration officers detained almost 700 illegal immigrants during a worksite enforcement operation at seven locations in six Mississippi cities. The DOJ described the operation as the “largest single-state worksite enforcement action” in U.S. history.
The day after the raids, federal authorities reported that hundreds of the aliens swept up in the operation had been released on “humanitarian grounds.”
“If [Homeland Security Investigations] encountered two alien parents with minor children at home, HSI released one of the parents on humanitarian grounds and returned that individual to the place from which they were arrested,” a statement explained. “HSI similarly released any single alien parent with minor children a home on humanitarian grounds and physically returned that person to the place where he or she was originally detained.”
Unsealed court documents later accused six of the seven targeted plants of “willfully and unlawfully” employing people who were not authorized to work in the United States, which even included some workers wearing ankle bracelets on the job as a result of previous immigration violations.