A Horrific First Day of School: ICE Raids in Mississippi

The first day of school is often a day filled with excitement, pride, and happiness in which students get ready for a learning-filled year, and parents eagerly watch their students enter another school year. For several students ranging from kindergarten to 12th grade in Scott County in Mississippi, the first day of school ended with a horrific outcome when 680 people were taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). 

The ICE raids took place in several food processing plants near several small towns in the vicinity of Jackson, Mississippi, according to USA Today. The workforce in these towns consists of predominantly Latino immigrant families, many of whom are the primary caregivers and providers for those families. Some children started their first day of school with one or both parents being detained, while they were in class. At the time of the report above, the superintendent of the school district was aware of six families who were being impacted by the ICE raids and that number is expected to rise after communication with an ICE agent. 

As a mother, the sole thought of not being able to be there when my daughter returns from any school day is anxiety-provoking and horrific. We need to demand action and do better not just for our young people being impacted by these cruel policies, but also by the hardworking families who bear the brunt of these raids. 

In light of recent threats of ICE raids, many cities in California have also begun to take action in hopes of protecting immigrant communities. Delano became the first sanctuary city in Kern County this week, according to 23 ABC News. With immigrants making up nearly 30 percent of the residents of the city, elected officials in Delano took a symbolic stand since the state has already passed SB 54, which prevents prevents state and local law enforcement agencies from using resources to help U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Additionally, following the threats of ICE raids earlier this summer, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke up about the proposed threats with the LA Time and “criticized the operation as chaotic and inhumane.” He further argued that the threats “‘will spread fear to that entire community and to the U.S. citizens that are a part of their families.’”

Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke up about the detrimental trauma and negative impacts that these raids would cause, and we are seeing them happen in Mississippi before our eyes. 

If you are looking to get involved, The Nation published a resource guide with steps that people can take to support and stand up for our undocumented communities. The actions listed range from talking points and information needed to contact government officials to step in to several “know your rights” guides that can serve as valuable protection material in the event of ICE raids continuing.

What do you think?
The following two tabs change content below.
Daniela Felix

Daniela Felix

Daniela is a first generation college student who is heavily involved in education in her home district, West Contra Costa Unified. After becoming a mother at a young age, Daniela’s passion for education justice only intensified and she began to fight for an equitable education for all children, regardless of background or zip code. Daniela played a key role in organizing parents with the California Charter Schools Association and is a firm believer in school choice for all families. She is currently a Lead Organizer with Students for Education Reform, organizing college students around education justice issues in her home district. She was recently accepted into Teach for America and plans to continue impacting the lives of children in her hometown of Richmond, CA as a high school social studies teacher. Daniela is a UC Berkeley senior pursuing her B.A. in Legal Studies and Education along with her 4 year old daughter and husband. Daniela is a firm believer in that every single child is capable of meeting high expectations if given the correct support. Daniela hopes to be a provider of that support.

More Comments