TN Communities Hold Vigils for Illegal Immigrants Nabbed by ICE at Meatpacking Plant
Hundreds of community members in Tennessee packed an elementary school gym Monday night for a vigil honoring 97 suspected illegal immigrants arrested by ICE officials on Friday.
Some of those in attendance at Hillcrest Elementary School gave speeches and sang songs supporting those detained.
"We're not trying to say illegal activity is OK, we are saying that compassion needs to be shown, there's a difference between right or wrong and violent and nonviolent," one woman expressed.
In nearby Knoxville, area pastors also reportedly held small vigils.
The suspected illegal immigrants were arrested at the Southeastern Provision meat processing plant in eastern Tennessee.
ICE spokeswoman Tammy Spicer said that 11 were arrested on criminal charges, 54 were placed in detention and 32 were released.
— TIRRC (@tnimmigrant) April 9, 2018
Ten of the people arrested are expected to face a judge on Friday.
In an affidavit, ICE accused alleges the plant's owners of "willfully attempting to evade or defeat payment of federal employment taxes, unlawfully employing Illegal aliens, willfully failing to collect and pay federal employment taxes, and filing false tax returns."