MORTON, Miss. – As Thursday morning dawned hot and bright, Desiree Hughes soldiered through the 24th hour of her wait in a parking lot of a chicken processing plant here.
Two of her friends had been seized by immigration officials during a raid the day before, in an operation that resulted in about 680 arrests from seven different food processing plants across Mississippi. It was the largest workplace sting in at least a decade.
“(I’m) hurt. Heartbroken,” Hughes said before taking a deep breath. “I just want our families to come home. Because without their mamas and papas, how are they going to take care of their babies? How are they going to get to school? How are they going to pay their bills? They’re going to lose everything.”