A project of the Center for Community Change

Even when its about uniting, ICE continues to divide

Today is Election Day. A day when unprecented numbers of new voters and new Americans are participating directly in democracy. A day where our Nation unites around one idea – get out and VOTE! But, as usual, ICE proves to be out of step and morally bankrupt.

Today, of all days, ICE followed up on May’s horrifying raid of Agriprocessors in Postville Iowa. So far, reports are only confirming one arrests, but the message is clear – ICE is not down with Postville.

Agriprocessors was the site of one of the largest single-site immigration raids in May. Federal agents detained 389 illegal immigrant workers in an investigation that spurred the national debate over immigration and led to criminal charges against a top executive.

One woman who arrived at the church said agents arrested her husband at the plant, said the Rev. Steve Brackett. Brackett said Postville’s streets emptied quickly as word spread that federal agents had arrived.

“We only have one confirmed report of an arrest right now,” Brackett said. “The assumption is, they’re here for additional people.”

Hasn’t this community suffered enough? Doesn’t the government have a better message to send on Election Day? Our next administration will be inhereting the burden of some serious damage control. First and foremost, stop destroying our communities. Stop the raids.

An advocate for immigration reform criticized the federal action and its timing.

“It’s appalling that the federal agents chose today, Election Day, to spread fear amongst the residents of Postville,” said Marissa Graciosa, director of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement.

Erica Palmer, a community organizer for Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, called the action “inhumane and destructive to our community fabric.”

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