Tomorrow, May 12th, marks the one year anniversary of the devastating ICE raid at Agriprocessors, a kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa. That day, hundreds of ICE agents descended on the small Iowa town. They brought helicopters, they brought buses and they brought a show of force that would rival any big-budget action flick this summer. Almost 400 workers were arrested and herded like cattle through a “fast-track” version of the American judicial system.
At the time, it was the largest workplace raid in history – sort of mind-blowing to think that since then the raid in Laurel, Mississippi has actually surpassed that number with over 600 people arrested. Postville quickly became symbolic of everything that was wrong with our country’s approach to immigration enforcement, immigration policy, human rights and civil rights. Families were separated, an entire community was destroyed and a small church, St. Bridget’s, was left to deal with the aftermath.
I didn’t come on board at FIRM until one week after the Postville raid, so I couldn’t tell you where I was when I heard the news. But, I can tell you this: witnessing the injustice of the Postville raid cemented my identity as a pro-migrant advocate. Period.
There will be a National Day of Remembrance and Action happening tomorrow. Across the country, communities will hold days of remembrance, will ring bells at 10 AM (the time the raid began) and will don red ribbons in solidarity with the Postville community.
For more information, and to find an action near you, visit the Interfaith Immigration Coalition.