NASHVILLE, Tenn.--The Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) is speaking out against a workplace raid that resulted in the arrest and detaining of nearly 100 people on Thursday.
TIRRC says the raid took place at the Southeastern Provision meatpacking plant in Bean Station, which is just north of Knoxville.
According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Public Affairs Officer Tammy Spicer says the raid was executed as part of a federal search warrant.
"HSI encountered 97 individuals who are subject to removal from the United States. Ten of those encountered were arrested on federal criminal charges, one was arrested on state charges and 86 were arrested on administrative charges. Of the 86 administrative arrests placed in removal proceedings, ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) placed 54 in detention and 32 were released from custody."
TIRRC says it is the "largest immigration workplace raid to date under the Trump administration" and workers reported "rough treatment and detention despite having work authorization."
TIRRC Co-Executive Director Stephanie Teatro criticized the raid, calling it an "attack."
“Our communities have lived under intense fear since the Trump administration began, and this raid – coupled with local law enforcement involvement – will send shockwaves across the country. The community has shown tremendous strength in the face of this brazen attack on its members: Churches have become sanctuaries for those who feel unsafe, community leaders are speaking out against the attack, and we will continue to fight for basic, Constitutional rights for all. No one – not even the president – can take those away,” Teatro says.
The raid comes just one day after President Trump called on the National Guard to send troops to the U.S. border to serve as a deterrent for illegal immigration.