JACKSON, Miss. – Immigration officials raided seven poultry processing plants in Mississippi on Aug. 7, as part of an effort to identify workers at the facilities who are living in the US illegally. The raids resulted in 680 people being detained.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) stated that the agricultural processing plants in Mississippi were part of an ongoing Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) worksite enforcement criminal investigation.

According to the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi, the raids were the largest single-state worksite enforcement action in US history.

Peco Foods confirmed in a press release that three of its facilities in the state including Bay Springs, Canton and Sebastopol were being investigated by the Dept. of Homeland Security.

“We adhere strongly to all local, state and federal laws including utilizing the government-based E-Verify program which screens new hires through the Social Security Administration as well as the Dept. of Homeland Security for compliance,” Peco Foods said in its statement.

According to a report published in the Clarion-Ledger, Koch Foods’ processing plant in Morton, Mississippi was raided and P H Foods plants in Morton, Carthage and Pelahatchie were also part of the federal investigation.