JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV)- Exactly one week ago, agents arrested 680 undocumented workers at seven food processing plants in Mississippi.
The Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services is now giving the latest response to the ICE raids.
CPS says as soon as the raids hit the headlines they went into emergency response mode.
The agency claims federal officials did not notify the agency about the raids.
Communications director Lea Anne Brandon says they didn’t know what to expect.
“We have heard through the federal government that perhaps there should’ve been a federal emergency plan put in place and that it does involve child protections, so we don’t know,” said Brandon, “We want to try to stay out of the politics of it.”
Brandon says they still reacted with an emergency response plan they would typically use in a natural disaster, to help the children whose parents were taken into custody, by reaching out to foster or group homes and making sure they had room. None of them had to be activated, but they were ready.
“What we’re trying to remind parents in the community, the detainees is that they retain legal authority with what happens to their children,” said Brandon. “It’s not like when we say we can help, we’re trying to bring those into custody.”
She says if the parents end up being deported they still have a choice as to what happens to their children.
“They can assign legal custody to someone or they ask we take care of them,” said Brandon.
When we reached out to ICE, ICE said the U.S. Attorney contacted the state commissioner of CPS on Wednesday, the same day of the raids.