Church leaders and advocates for immigrants staged a rally in downtown Des Moines last night in support of the Swift meatpacking workers from Marshalltown who were rounded up by federal agents for possible deportation. Kirk Martin of Catholic Charities says the immigrants who held jobs in that plant were treated unfairly.
?Immigrants, whether they’re documented or undocumented, have basic due process rights that we need to fight for,” Martin says. Sandra Sanchez of the American Friends Service Committee says the federal government “unjustly” held hundreds of the workers at Camp Dodge in Johnston. ?Which will effectively prevent lawyers and civilians from getting access to detainees,” Sanchez says. “That is very anti-American.”
Federal officials say by noon today (Friday), the last of the meatpacking workers who’d been held at Camp Dodge will be gone. They’ve either been deported or are being transferred to another detention facility to await charges. Most at last night’s rally don’t know any of the workers involved. Derma Riveria, an immigrant from Honduras and single mother of five, says she came to show support.”
“They’re not terrorists,” Riveria says. “They’re just people who want to work.” Federal agents were back in Marshalltown yesterday to raid six homes. One person was arrested.