Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agents executed criminal search warrants at eight Asian restaurants in the cities of Jackson, Flowood, Pearl and Meridian in Mississippi on Wednesday morning.
The majority of restaurants raided were part of the Ichiban chain, agency spokesman Thomas Byrd said, according to the Clarion-Ledger.
Law enforcement officers were also spotted at a China Buffet in Pearl, along with China Buffet II and Sake Sushi in Meridian.
A sign was posted on the door of one of the businesses that said it would be closed on Wednesday.
However, the Ichiban Buffet in Pearl posted on their official Twitter account on Thursday that they have opened their doors once again to the public.
One customer wanted to know when the Ichiban branch in Flowood would reopen so she could get her free buffet.
According to WLBT reporter Morgan Wagner, a total of 55 people were detained on Wednesday.
Homeland Security officials said the federal-level search warrants were part of an ongoing operation, WAPT reported.
Bill Chandler with Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance believes the raids targeted people “not in status” or undocumented workers who may be in Mississippi using expired visas.
Immigration attorney Ramiro Orozco said that his office was “flooded” with calls following the raids on Wednesday afternoon.
“The recent raids in the metro and Flowood area are alarming,” he explained.
Orozco added, criticizing the raids: “ICE focus should not be in ripping apart families and adding to the distrust of law enforcement by the communities, which undermine our state’s economy. All persons, citizens or not, deserve due process and access to legal representation.”