Angela Sorac is just 13, but she’s been thrust into an adult role. Her mother, Ingrid, has nine children under her care — six of her own, and three from her sister-in-law, who was swept up in anin Mississippi last week. Her husband, who was also detained, is the family’s sole provider and looks after their 7-year-old son, who has autism.
“Every day, I look at my kids crying,” Ingrid said.
Of the 680 people detained, around 300 of them were released, some for humanitarian reasons and others with court dates. But Ingrid’s husband, Nery, was not one of them.
His arrest ended up being a case of collateral damage. He did not work at any of the seven plants raided by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but was in a parking lot dropping off his sister when agents arrived and detained 243 workers. Being at the wrong place at the wrong time has had a devastating effect on his family.
Angela said they had conversations about what may happen.
“Like, if it ever comes to, like, if police cars are close and they were like, ‘You know, if this happens, this happens and we just, we just want you to know that we love you very much,'” she said.
Koch Foods, where Nery dropped his sister off for work, said they comply with immigration laws, but can still not know if some of its workers are unauthorized.
CBS News sat down with Mike Hurst, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi. He said his office is investigating employers who hired undocumented workers.
CBS News asked Hurst why the workers have been separated from their families and put in jail, when the managers who hired them and broke the law are home with their families.
“I’m not gonna say right now what the status of the criminal investigation is,” he said.
Investigations aside, for Ingrid and her family, the absence of their father increases their pain and frustration with each passing day.
“It’s not easy to lose a family member because you have a very special bond with them,” Angela said.
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