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Acting DHS Chief Acknowledges Timing of ICE Raid in Mississippi ‘Was Unfortunate’

On Meet the Press this moroning, Chuck Todd grilled Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAlennan over the recent ICE raid in Mississippi.

Todd pressed him on the timing — McAleenan said the operation was planned for over a year — and whether they considered postponing the raid.

“These employers are exploiting undocumented workers. This is a situation where you have 680 arrests just in this one operation. That means those employers are just ignoring the law entirely in what they do. That’s why a judge gave us a warrant to go after them. And this is the middle of an ongoing criminal investigation. And we do expect to continue forward with — toward charges,” McAleenan responded.

Todd brought up his comment about the employers to grill McAleenan on why only employees were arrested but not employers.

“We’re in the middle of an ongoing investigation,” McAleenan said. “You get a warrant from a federal judge with probable cause. You then go gather evidence at the sites. And then you look at the appropriate charges in concert with the Department of Justice and U.S. attorney to see how you proceed.”

At one point Todd asked, “Given the emotions of the country right now, in hindsight, do you wish this raid didn’t happen this week?”

McAleenan acknowledged, “The timing was unfortunate.”

You can watch above, via NBC.

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac