Mississippi food plants under investigation following the firing of hundreds of immigrants

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MISSISSIPPI (AP) – Witnesses say a Mississippi chicken processing plant has fired most remaining workers after nearly 100 accused of immigration violations were arrested last week.

Mississippi Immigration Coalition volunteer Terry Truett says she was called to a park in Morton on Tuesday. Former workers at PH Food said they’d been abruptly fired. Workers also tell advocates the company is withholding pay.

PH Food is one of seven Mississippi plants raided Aug. 7. Federal agents arrested 680 people accused of working illegally, including 99 at PH Food.

Truett says remaining workers were later asked to sign identity verification forms. Truett says managers fired all but “a handful” of workers Tuesday.

Federal immigration officials say they have probable cause that Koch Foods, Peco Foods, PH Food, A&B and Pearl River Foods were raided by authorities while previously knowingly hiring undocumented immigrants, according to search warrant affidavits citing videotaped statements of managers.

There were clear signs that the companies hired people who could not legally work in the country alleged by the warrants.

The company declined to comment.

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