LOS ANGELES – Yesterday, 680 immigrant workers were arrested in raids that encompassed several different workplaces in Mississippi and 600 agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).


The coordinated sting was conducted shortly before Donald J. Trump was scheduled to visit El Paso where 22 people – many of them Latino – were killed in a mass shooting by a Houston man who wrote a manifesto decrying an “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” The shooting – and the raids — came after weeks of threats by the Trump administration to conduct mass deportations of undocumented immigrants and followed months of amped up anti-immigrant rhetoric by Trump.


MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) strongly condemns the action taken by the administration and ICE this week.


Please attribute the following statement to Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel:


   “Proving that there is no limit to the blatant hypocrisy of the Trump administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted massive workplace raids in Mississippi, on the same day and just two states away from where Donald Trump was ostensibly visiting El Paso, Texas to show support for a community victimized by a racist, anti-immigrant murderer.  Choreographed pictures in hospitals do not excuse the inherent racism and nativism in the mass arrests and detentions of migrant Latino parents working to support their families and contribute to the United States economy, including propping up a social security system for retirees of all races.


   “Demonstrating that his scripted remarks condemning white supremacy were as phony as his championing of the working class, Donald Trump’s administration continues to engage in immigration policies and practices that inflict trauma, humiliation, and inhumanity on families, especially Latino families, raising children who are the future of our nation.  Policies and practices can promote racist extremism just as much as irresponsible rhetoric.


 “Economy be damned; this administration is more interested in continuing its anti-immigrant campaign than in helping the United States economy to thrive.  Someone should inform the ‘stable genius’ in the White House paddock that forcibly removing workers during a full-employment economy, especially from jobs that are unlikely to garner interest from the native-born workforce, is just plain foolish.  As is seeking to remove over a million workers nationwide, which would have already occurred if the courts had not stopped Trump and his minions from ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for immigrants from many countries. 


 “For Donald Trump to regularly pound his chest about an economic recovery that began under his predecessor — long before he even commenced his presidential campaign — and then to treat the economic implications of his racist, anti-immigrant policies so cavalierly, sends a strong message about his real priorities.  That message can only embolden addle-brained white nationalists into believing that their poisonous ideology is of supreme importance.


 “Trump and his administration need to engage in real action to demonstrate that they are abandoning their racist and nativist engine to focus on the good of the entire nation.  The Mississippi raids send the precise opposite message.”