Children left without parents after Mississippi ICE raids

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FOREST, Miss. (CBS NEWS) - Update: A spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says nearly half of those arrested during the largest immigration raid in a decade in the United States have been released. Get more information here.

Following the massive ICE operation in Mississippi on Aug. 7, many children are left without a mother or father and have nowhere to go. (Source: CBS News)


Following the massive ICE operation in Mississippi on Aug. 7, many children are left without a mother or father and have nowhere to go.

But a community in Forest, Mississippi, is coming together with a temporary solution.

The children, some who are just toddlers, were relying on neighbors and even strangers to pick them up outside their homes after school and drive them to a community fitness center where people tried to keep them calm.

But many kids kept crying for mom and dad.

Fighting back tears, 11-year-old Magdalena Gomez Gregorio expressed to us her devastation being alone without her dad.

"Government please show some heart, let my parent be free and everyone else," she said.

This came after ice agents raided several food processing plants in Mississippi, arresting 680 people believed to be in the country illegally.

"While we are a nation of immigrants, more than that we are first and foremost a nation of laws," said Southern District U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst.

But those children and families impacted by each raid stressed their parents and friends are good people.

"I need my dad and mommy. My dad didn't do anything, he's not a criminal," said Magdalena.

"The children that I'm with, their moms been here for 15 years and she has no record. A lot of people here have no record they've been here for 10-12 years," said Christina Peralta, godmother of kids impacted.

For Christina Peralta, who's the godmother of two children who's mom was arrested, she's helpless as she watches the boys wonder when they'll see their mother again.

"He said his mom is gone, that he's upset with Trump. He said he just wants his mom back and they've been crying all day long since they got home from school," Peralta.

But with the help of Clear Creek Boot Camp owner Jordan Barnes and other community leaders, the kids will have a roof to sleep under at his gym for the night with donated food to eat.

"We're going to have bedding available for them and we're going to have food available for them just to get them through the night and if they need transportation to school tomorrow we'll also take care of that," said Barnes.

And in times like these, he stresses that you cannot forget the children through this.

"I understand the law and how everything works and everything needs to have a system, but everybody needs to hold the kids first and foremost in their minds. And that's what we've tried to do here is give them a place to stay and ease the pain a little bit," Barnes said.

According to the Associated Press, dozens of immigrant workers have already been released.

Officials had said Wednesday that they would release detainees who met certain conditions, such as pregnant women or those who hadn't faced immigration proceedings previously.