Girl seen crying after Mississippi ICE raids is reunited with her father


JACKSON, Miss. (CNN) — A girl who tearfully begged for her dad’s release after the massive Mississippi ICE raids in August has been reunited with her father.

Magdalena Gomez Gregorio gave a tearful interview to reporters on the day immigration authorities rounded up hundreds of undocumented workers at several food processing plants in early August.

Andres Gomez-Jorge had been working at the Koch Foods plant in the town of Morton when the raids occurred. He was released from immigration detention last week after relatives and friends raised $7,500 for his bond.

Now, he and his family are “extremely happy” to be reunited, but are unsure of what their future holds. Gomez-Jorge said he has not received a court date yet and is struggling to find work. He said he wants to work in construction but he says jobs are scarce.

The family of six has been surviving on donations.

More than 650 workers were detained during the raids. Three months later, there are still no charges filed against any of the owners or companies involved in employing them.

On Thursday in Jackson, Mississippi, the House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing about federal immigration raids.

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, said it’s “disappointing” that President Donald Trump’s administration is selectively enforcing laws to apprehend immigrant workers who are in the U.S. illegally but not prosecute employers.

“Not one employer or person from management has been arrested,” Thompson said. “In fact, prosecutions of companies who hire undocumented workers have declined compared to the previous administration’s numbers. The selective way the administration is enforcing our laws is disappointing.”

Mike Hurst, the chief federal prosecutor for the southern half of Mississippi, said Thursday that 119 people have been indicted after the raid and 47 have pleaded guilty so far. Of those, Hurst said 26 have pleaded guilty to fraudulently using a Social Security number, while 21 others have pleaded guilty to illegally re-entering the United States after previously being deported. The rest face some combination of those charges.

Jere Miles, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations, pleaded for patience, saying agents are examining 850,000 documents and 61 digital devices to build cases.

“We’re not satisfied with going after the low-level people, but as I’m sure you all understand, it is a lengthy process,” Miles testified.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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