The Little Girl Crying For Her Father After An ICE Raid In Mississippi Has Finally Been Reunited With Him
In August, an appalling scene came out of the small town of Morton, Mississippi, where U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents detained more than 600 people. ICE agents suspected that after a yearlong investigation, Koch Foods (a food processing plant) had hired hundreds of undocumented people. On the morning of Aug. 7, after many of the workers had dropped off their children at school, they went to work as usual only to be detained by immigration agents. The people were instructed to get on a bus where they would be taken to a detention center. Many of the children didn’t have a ride after school and were left without their parents. One little girl, in particular, captured the heart of many.
A young girl made national news when she cried out for her dad, who had been detained by ICE. Now, three months later, he has been released.
Magdalena Gomez Gregorio pleaded on television that she wanted her dad back and that he was not a criminal. The poor girl could bearly speak because she was so emotional. Gomez Gregorio was one of several kids who were left without their parents in what was viewed as the most massive raid in the country’s history.
“Government, please show some heart,” the 11-year-old girl said in August, according to WJTV. “Let my parent be free and everyone else, please don’t leave the child with cryness [sic] and everything. I need my dad … he’s not a criminal.”
At least 680 people were detained in August. ICE, in a rare move, said they would release at least one parent if both parents were arrested, so the children wouldn’t be completely alone.
A couple of days after the raid, the Department of Justice in Mississippi said they would release 30 people based on “humanitarian grounds,” but it was unclear if one of Gomez Gregorio’s parents was released during that time.
“As part of HSI procedures pursuant to this operation, if HSI 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. HSI similarly released any single alien parent with minor children at home on humanitarian grounds and physically returned that person to the place where he or she was originally detained. Based on these procedures, it is believed that all children were with at least one of their parents as of last night,” the Department of Justice in Mississippi stated.
The little girl’s dad, Andres Gomez-Jorge, was finally released from detention after his friends and family raised $7,500 for his bond.
CNN reports that the family is back together again, including with their mom. The main problem now is that they both are out of work. According to the network, Gomez-Jorge has to support his family of six, and as of now, are only surviving from generous donations.
While agents say, they had been investigating the food plant for a year, after detaining more than 600 people, only 11 people were prosecuted.
Owners of the food plant, the ones responsible for doing the hiring, were never charged for their participation in hiring people with fraudulent information.
“These are not new laws, nor is the enforcement of them new,” then-acting ICE director Matt Albence said in August, according to CNN.
“The arrests today were the result of a year-long criminal investigation. And the arrests and warrants that were executed today are just another step in that investigation.”
However, not much came out of that raid that instilled fear in the Latino community. We should note that the ICE raid in Mississippi occurred just days after the El Paso shooting that left 22 people dead and another 24 injured.