Forest businesses see a decline in shoppers a week after ICE raids

Forest businesses see decline in shoppers a week after ICE raids

FOREST, Miss. (WLBT) - Business in the Los Compadres grocery store in Forest has been so slow, the owner said he has had to throw away most of his produce Thursday.

Just a handful of customers were seen walking in but as the owner’s sister Rosalia Flores said, “normally, at this time, about 50 people will be here but we’ve only had about three people come in today.”

Inside the store, Jose and his family threw away rotting bananas and papayas while replacing the goods with a much smaller shipment.

Flores said business has been slow since the ICE raid. The family has had the store open for over a decade.

“You see it in all of the businesses, even the American ones. All of us are feeling it. They’re scared that’s why some of them will come here with other people who have documents that will give them a ride,” said Flores.

According to residents, several parts of town have been bare; schools and church have witnessed low attendance.

“We are very sad because apart from the fact that they are customers, they are our friends. And that, in every sense, effects the store and myself because I know a lot of the customers. We feel bad for them,” said Flores.

Though his business is hurting, the Los Compadres owner said he continues to bring donations to the Trinity Mission Center.

Church leader Dorcas Matias said they’ve received loads of donations since the raids.

The church has become a helpful hub for any person that needs legal immigration advice or food.

“These days have been long for us. In fact, we have been coming here very early to be able to attend to these families,” said Matias.

The church leader also said they will be providing food and legal help for everyone as long as they need it.

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