ICE: Mississippi Immigration Investigation Began Year Ago, 8 Eateries Raided in February | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

ICE: Mississippi Immigration Investigation Began Year Ago, 8 Eateries Raided in February

The Office of Homeland Security office in Pearl was active the night of Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials raided eight restaurants in Mississippi today. A large bus was at the site after dark.

The Office of Homeland Security office in Pearl was active the night of Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials raided eight restaurants in Mississippi today. A large bus was at the site after dark. Photo by Imani Khayyam.

This story has been updated to reflect that 55 individuals were detained in a raid on eight restaurants in the Jackson-Metro and Meridian area yesterday.

Immigration and customs enforcement agents conducted raids on Feb. 22 after a year-long criminal investigation at local Ichiban restaurants in Flowood and Pearl as well as dining establishments owned by the same owner in Clinton and Meridian.

The investigation began over a year ago, ICE public relations officer Tom Byrd told the Jackson Free Press this afternoon. He said he could not get into the details on charges because it is an ongoing investigation.

“The U.S. attorney’s office will determine what they’re actually charged with,” Byrd said.

Today, Byrd confirmed that 55 individuals were detained after the raid yesterday. Both Ichiban locations in Pearl and Flowood are now open, WLBT reported.

The Facts About Immigration

The Facts About Immigration: A Former Border Czar Speaks

Ramiro Orozco, an immigration attorney at Anderson Orozco PLLC, said his offices received multiple calls following the news of the raids today. Orozco said his sources believe the charges are for harboring illegal immigrants—and that those immigrants detained were not only of Asian descent but also Honduran and Guatemalan.

The Jackson Free Press could not confirm details of specific charges or who was detained through court records, which are either sealed or not online, yet. No one answered the phone at the Ichiban Buffet in Pearl or Flowood or responded to voicemails left by press time.

Last week, ICE raided a home in west Jackson and took away a 21-year-old woman’s father and brother. She did not know why or where they took them when our story about it went to press earlier this week.

Also see: The Facts About Immigration: A Former Border Czar Speaks

Email state reporter Arielle Dreher at @arielle@jacksonfreepress.com and follow her on Twitter at @arielle_amara for breaking news.

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