From AP (more at the link):
The raids, planned months ago, happened just hours before President Donald Trump visited El Paso, Texas, the majority-Latino border city where a man linked to an online screed about a “Hispanic invasion” was charged in a shooting that left 22 people dead.
“On a day when we seek unifying words and acts to heal the nation’s broken heart, President Trump allows so many families and communities to be torn apart,” said Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights.
About 600 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents fanned out across the plants operated by five companies, surrounding the perimeters to prevent workers from fleeing.
From ICE (more at the link):
In addition to executing federal search warrants and seizing business records pertaining to the ongoing federal criminal investigation, deportation officers with ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in partnership with HSI detained approximately 680 removable aliens who were unlawfully working at the plants.
All the unlawfully present foreign nationals arrested Wednesday are being interviewed by ICE staff to record any potential mitigating humanitarian situations. Based on these interviews, and consideration of their criminality and prior immigration history, ICE is determining on a case-by-case basis based on the totality of the circumstances which individuals will be detained and which persons may be released from custody at present. In all cases, all the illegal aliens encountered as part of this operation are either being placed into removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts, and for those who already received due process and have been ordered removed, processed for removal from the U.S.
From NPR (more at the link):
Today’s raids are part of the ongoing war against immigrant families and the communities in which they live,” Julia Solórzano, an attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center, said in an emailed statement. “It is especially sickening that days after immigrants were targeted by a gunman in El Paso, Texas, workers at plants across Mississippi witnessed armed agents descending on their workplace.
“It’s also worth noting that immigration agencies that have repeatedly blamed ‘over capacity’ detention facilities for the horrific treatment of those imprisoned nevertheless detained more than 600 people today,” she said.
The size of the raid operation harks back to 2008 when, under the George W. Bush administration, more than 400 unauthorized workers were arrested in a meatpacking facility in Iowa.