August 8, 2019 / 11:53 PM / 11 days ago

Scores from Mexico, Guatemala detained in Mississippi raids

Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard speaks at the Mexican consulate, two days after a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, U.S. August 5, 2019. REUTERS/Julio-Cesar Chavez

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The governments of Guatemala and Mexico said on Thursday that between them, almost 300 of their citizens had been detained in the southern U.S. state of Mississippi as part of sweeping U.S. immigration operations.

U.S. immigration authorities arrested nearly 700 people at seven agricultural processing plants across the state on Wednesday in what federal officials said could be the largest worksite enforcement operation in a single state.

On Twitter, the Mexican foreign ministry said 122 Mexican nationals had been detained, of whom 34 had been released and notified of dates for hearings with migration authorities.

Guatemala’s foreign ministry said in a statement that 176 of its citizens had been arrested in the raids in Mississippi, 142 of them men and 34 women.

Separately, the Honduran foreign ministry said that two Hondurans so far had been confirmed among those detained.

U.S. President Donald Trump has made cracking down on illegal immigration, especially from Central America and Mexico, one of the signature policies of his administration.

Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; Writing by Julia Love; Additional reporting by Gustavo Palencia in Tegucigalpa and Sofia Menchu in Guatemala City; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel, Sandra Maler and Tom Hogue

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