JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Immigration rights advocates claim federal ICE agents violated the human rights of immigrants during a recent raid in central Mississippi.
Dozens of broken families flooded the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance headquarters Wednesday after the four day federal immigration raid. Many claimed their loved ones were cursed and physically abused before being arrested and possibly deported.
"They had their guns out and they was running around the apartments with guns out and one guy that jumped from the window trying to get away from them they had their gun to his head on the ground with knees in his back," said Glenda Arevalo.
Those present refused to answer questions about their spouses immigration status but were very vocal about alleged human rights violations during the raid.
"They came in, said get up, no shoes or nothing, in your boxers, you're blank illegal were taking you, you're fixing to be deported," said Angela Rector whose husband was taken. "It don't make no sense at all why are they having to scare people. It's stupid, it's ridiculous."
In a press release, immigration officials say they arrested 58 people during their raid. Only one was a woman.
Those in custody, ranging from ages 17 to 71, were wanted for violent and sex related crimes and selling drugs. They say 11 of the fugitives ignored final orders of deportation from the courts.
Immigration rights officials are concerned a senate bill being debated could increase raids of this nature.
"This will legalize profiling," said Pat Ice of M.I.R.A.
Lawmakers said their bill won't encourage people of color to be targeted.
"Here in our version of the bill we make it a secondary offense much like the seatbelt law," said Senator Joey Fillingane.
Immigration officials say seven arrested had been previously deported. A conviction for felony re-entry carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
Copyright 2011 WLBT. All rights reserved
IF YOU HAVE A STORY IDEA CONTACT WLBT/WDBD AT (601) 960-4426 OR EMAIL US AT News@WLBT.COM.
715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, MS 39201