Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested 97 people during the raid of a meat processing plant in Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday.
All 97 individuals are suspected of being in the country illegally according to ICE spokeswoman Tammy Spicer. 32 of those detained were released, but ICE has not said why although it’s likely due to the controversial practice of “catch and release” that the president signed an order to end on Friday.
Officials from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Tennessee Highway Patrol`and the Department of Homeland Security joined ICE agents in the execution of a federal warrant against Southeastern Provision for hiring illegal aliens and tax evasion.
Officials became aware of the processing plants illegal activities after the bank they use reported huge cash withdrawals on a regular basis. An undercover officer was hired by the plant using a fake name and he was paid in cash.
The raid comes on the heels of several highly-visible raids by ICE at employers such as 7-Eleven and in round-ups forced by sanctuary city policies. Illegal Alien activist groups aren’t happy with the Trump administration’s vigorous enforcement of the law.
“What we saw here, while it is the largest and certainly credibly egregious raid, it does fit in the larger practice and patterns of the Trump administration of targeting workers, indiscriminately arresting immigrants and really terrorizing communities across the country,” said Stephanie Teatro, co-executive director of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition.