‘Every day, I look at my kids crying’: Mississippi family separated by ICE raids struggles

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Ingrid comforts one of her children following their family’s separation due to recent ICE raids.

Thirteen-year-old Angela Sorac said her dad, who lacks legal status, tried to prepare her for the worst. “We did have conversations about it,” she told journalist Maria Elena Salinas. “If police cars are close … ‘you know, if this happens … we just, we just want you to know that we love you very much.'” On Aug. 7, the worst happened. 

On that day, Angela’s dad, Nery, was one of the nearly 700 people swept up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in mass raids that targeted a number of Mississippi food processing plants. But what makes Nery’s detention different from many of the others’ is that he wasn’t even a plant employee: He had just been there to drop his sister off at work.

“Nery’s arrest ended up being a case of collateral damage,” Salinas reported from outside one of the plants. “He did not work at this plant, one of seven raided by ICE, but he was here in this parking lot dropping off his sister when agents arrived and detained 243 workers. Being at the wrong place at the wrong time has had a devastating effect on his family.”

Salinas reports that Nery was the family’s sole breadwinner, and now his wife, Ingrid, is struggling to figure out how to provide for a home that has suddenly grown in size, now that her sister-in-law’s three children are also living with her after their mom’s arrest in the raids. “You know that there’s a chance your husband could be deported?” Salinas asks her. “Yeah,” Ingrid replies. “What would you do if that happens?” Salinas asks. A heartbroken Ingrid responds, “I don’t know.”

Groups on the ground in Mississippi have mobilized to help these children and their families. Please chip in whatever you can to help them rebuild their lives.

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