Following the August 7 raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on poultry plants in Mississippi, a poll was conducted asking voters in the state if they thought undocumented immigrant workers would be allowed to stay, and if the companies targeted in the raids should be prosecuted.
While results of the relatively small poll were mixed regarding allowing undocumented workers to remain, about 70% of survey respondents felt the companies should face prosecution.
The questions were asked in the State of the State survey, which examines various statewide issues. The survey was conducted in September by Milsaps College and Chism Strategies.
The ICE raids of seven agrifood facilities in Mississippi, including three Peco Foods poultry plants and one Koch Foods poultry plant, resulted in the detainment of nearly 700 people. However, none of the companies involved have faced charges.
In the survey, nearly half of Mississippi voters reported that they favored allowing individuals who are in the United States without legal authorization to remain if they are employed, pay their taxes, and do not have a criminal record. Just over 39% said that those who are here without legal authorization should be arrested and deported without exceptions. Despite the differences on that question, nearly 70% of Mississippi voters agreed that the businesses that were hiring those without legal authorization to be in the United States should also face prosecution. Only 16% opposed such actions.
The State of the State Survey involves a partnership between the Millsaps College Department of Government and Politics and Chism Strategies. The survey was conducted from September 11 through September 14 with a sample size of 606, with 50% of interviews conducted via cellular phone and 50% via landline. The survey had a margin of error of +/-3.98%. Results were weighted to reflect the likely voter turnout for the 2019 Mississippi elections.
The survey also asked Mississippi residents about their views on background checks on firearm purchases, the severity of the opioid crisis, the performance of Gov. Phil Bryant and President Donald Trump’s tariff policies.