ICPJ Newsletter – June 2012
LATF Immigration Article
With a large helicopter hovering over the meat-processing factory, teams of immigration agents stormed the plant and began arresting nearly 400 undocumented workers. Children at school were separated from their parents who had been rounded up, and almost immediately court proceedings commenced despite insufficient legal representation, leading to the imprisonment and deportation of approximately 75% of those arrested. This 2008 mass arrest at Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa, was the largest immigration raid in U.S. history, though it is certainly not the only one of its kind.
This event is analyzed in the documentary abUSed: The Postville Raid, which the Latin America Task Force (LATF) showed in the final event of the Economic Root Causes movie series in April. The four-event series has encouraged participants to consider how systemic economic factors contribute to war, poverty and environmental destruction.
Important topics covered by the abUSed documentary include family separation, underage worker rights, physical abuse of immigrant workers, the travesty of the legal process following the raid, and the supportive role that faith communities and people of conscience can play.
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