Media

US Attorney Defends Mississippi ICE Raids: ‘We Are Unaware Of A Single Child That Is Without A Parent Today’

United States Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi Michael Hurst, who helped coordinate the arrest of 680 alleged illegal immigrants in the largest workplace sting in over a decade, defended the rule of law and pushed back against claims that children were left in the lurch.

Appearing with guest-host Brian Kilmeade on Thursday night’s edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Hurst said agents had specifically asked detainees if they had a small child at home. Those who did were allowed to call someone to help, while single parents and one of two parents were given “humanitarian” release.

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After discussing the Wednesday raid on seven Mississippi chicken processing plants, which had been “planned for quite some time,” Hurst praised his agents and promised to prosecute employers “if we find there is a violation of federal criminal law.”

“This administration, this president, is all about law and order, and our country was founded upon the rule of law and I have heard the president say before, a country without borders is no country at all,” said Hurst. “And I agree with that, but I would add that without laws, we have no order and without the enforcement of laws, we have no justice. So as long as we are around in this office  … we are going to enforce the laws that are on the books.”

Kilmeade brought up some of the blowback against the raids, particularly the notion that children were left unattended. (RELATED: Ocasio-Cortez Gives Illegal Immigrants Advice On Evading Federal Law Enforcement)

“I wish folks would come out of the woodwork like they are doing now when kids are separated from a parent who commits a murder or a parent who is a drunk driver, or a parent that robs a bank,” Hurst said. “You know, we see this, unfortunate, sadly, in law enforcement, quite often. Hearing this is inhumane, the enforcement of our laws, it’s hard to comprehend that statement.”

CNN’s Anderson Cooper interviewed Oregon Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley on Thursday about the raids and the children temporarily left without their parents. The senator likened the situation to agents on the border “ripping children from their parents’ arms.”

CNN’s Jake Tapper ran a segment called “Torn Apart” featuring the crying children.

Hurst told Kilmeade that all detainees were asked if they were “a parent of a small child at home.”

“And they gave every single one of these 680 that were detained a phone call to make sure the family members knew where they were and to make sure that any small children at home or school were taken care of and then, if they were a single parent or one of two parents, HSI agents allowed them to be released on humanitarian reasons,” said Hurst. “So as of last night with all the gnashing of teeth and all that you see in the media with children separated, as of last night and today, we are unaware of a single child that was without at least one parent today.”