122 Mexicans among 680 detained in US migration raids

Mexico said Thursday that 122 of its citizens were among the 680 undocumented immigrants detained in a major series of raids at food processing plants in the United States.

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said the government would provide consular assistance and “guarantee the adequate legal defence of all Mexican nationals” detained in Wednesday’s raids in the southeastern state of Mississippi.

Those who are deported will have the government’s support to access employment, education and health care in Mexico, he told a press briefing.

The raids came after President Donald Trump promised to round up “millions of illegal aliens.”

They left tearful family members, including children, rushing to say goodbye as immigrants lined up to board buses to be driven to detention centres.

Ebrard initially said 107 Mexicans had been detained. The foreign ministry later updated the figure to 122, “of whom 34 have been released and issued a court summons,” it said.

Ebrard, who has the tricky task of handling US relations in the face of Trump’s frequent anti-Mexican attacks, did not criticize Wednesday’s raids, hewing to President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s line of avoiding confrontation with Mexico’s crucial neighbour and trading partner.

But he said Mexico would ask the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to inspect the detention centres where the migrants are being held.

He also announced Mexico City would host a meeting of Latin American officials on August 15 to “discuss the defence and promotion of Spanish-speaking civilizations and culture… especially in the United States.”

The raids occurred the same day Trump visited El Paso, Texas, in the wake of a mass shooting by a gunman who killed 22 people after publishing a racist manifesto in which he vowed to fight a “Hispanic invasion” of the US.