Postville Raid Essay

Postville Raid Essay-87
Maria was a Russian immigrant who I giggled with about boys, and Susie, from Mexico, taught me how to pluck my eyebrows.

Maria was a Russian immigrant who I giggled with about boys, and Susie, from Mexico, taught me how to pluck my eyebrows.Business was booming, houses being built and cultures were intermixing. Peaceful unity among cultures was only part of the story in Postville.

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After serving five-month sentences, most of the detainees were deported to Guatemala or Mexico.The ripples of the immigration action went far afield.The economy of Postville and the surrounding area crashed after the raid.Murmurs of “illegal immigration” rippled through the town.Students wept at their desks in fear that they would never see their moms or dads again.Typically these would be immigration charges, but in this case, criminal charges were made.The workers were charged with falsifying documents, even though many of them knew little about government documents.What I don’t question, though, is that the Catholic Church was firmly in the right place: standing in defense of the dignity of every vulnerable immigrant.Because they could only commandeer the Cattle Congress for a limited time, the prosecution had 72 hours to bring charges on most of the detainees.Within hours, 389 workers were arrested, shackled and bused to the National Cattle Congress grounds in Waterloo, over 75 miles away. I was unaware of how the Latin American workers were stirring divisions among longtime Postville residents until after the raid took place.The assembly line court system that the immigrants would be channeled through had been designed for swift processing, not unlike the kill floor they had worked at the meatpacking plant. I had assumed that every small town took pride in diversity; that the Christians in Postville—which was nearly everyone—understood that God’s reign is for all nations; that the meaning of Catholic was universal. But clearly not all the white citizens of Postville were on the side of the immigrants.


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