About 300 of the 680 people detained in Wednesday’s federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid were released the same day, officials said.
Approximately 30 people detained Wednesday were released at the same site they were detained on “humanitarian grounds,” according to a press release issued Thursday by Mike Hurst, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, and ICE.
Another 270 were released after being processed by Homeland Security Investigations on Wednesday. Those 270 were taken back to where they were initially detained, the release stated.
Wednesday afternoon, ICE spokesperson Bryan Cox said everyone taken into custody and detained was asked if they had children. Cox said at the time that everyone would be processed but “not everyone is going to be (permanently) detained.”
THE CENSUS BUREAU IS pursuing a legal loophole that its officials believe would allow them to temporarily hire non-U.S. citizens as part of its efforts to reach populations that are difficult to count, including in non-English speaking and immigrant communities.
People employed by the Census Bureau, including those hired temporarily, are considered federal employees and are legally required to be U.S. citizens. Specifically, the annual Appropriations Act prohibits the use of appropriated funds to employ noncitizens within the U.S.
Some exceptions exist, however, that allow the agency to hire translators temporarily, as well as to hire people admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence who are seeking citizenship, to hire people admitted as refugees or granted asylum, and to hire people for up to 60 days on an emergency basis.
Temporarily employed translators fall under a so-called “excepted service provision,” which gives each agency wide latitude to set its own standards for hiring based on what specific job it’s trying to fill.