Raided food plant seeks to replace hundreds of workers

State / Regional

Handcuffed workers await transportation to a processing center following a raid by U.S. immigration officials at Koch Foods Inc., plant in Morton, Miss. U.S. immigration officials raided several Mississippi food processing plants on Wednesday and signaled that the early-morning strikes were part of a large-scale operation targeting owners as well as employees. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

CANTON, Miss. (WJTV) — Chicken plant Koch Foods, one of the businesses caught up in a raid last week, is holding a job fair Monday.

The Illinois-based company said it will be recruiting new workers for its Morton plant at a state job center in nearby Forest at 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., at the Forest WIN Job Center.

Bryan Cox, of Homeland Security, said the raid was “not an immigration raid,” but rather a federal search warrant execution as part of a “criminal investigation” into immigrants who had committed crimes and had outstanding criminal warrants for arrest.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says it arrested about 243 workers in Morton on Wednesday, one of a series of raids at seven plants in six towns. More workers were arrested at Koch than at any other plant.

ICE said about 680 workers in total were arrested, but nearly half of those undocumented people were released.

Koch Foods generally pays plant workers in labor positions around $9 to $12 hourly, according to Glassdoor.

Applicants attending the job fair Monday will need to provide two forms of valid ID when applying.

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