Tuesday will mark the one year anniversary of the immigration raid at the kosher meatpacking plant in Postville where 389 people were arrested. Sister Mary McCauley had worked for the Catholic church in Postville at the time of the raid, and is one of the organizers of events to remember the anniversary.
McCauley says they are calling people to come to Postville for a special prayer vigil and walk that will begin at 3:30 with at St. Bridget’s Church. They will walk to Agriprocessors and have a special blessing, and then return to the church. Sister McCauley explains why they think this is important.
She says the goal is to "stand in solidarity" with the 389 people who were arrested and everyone that was hurt by the raid. McCauley says they are also asking that the immigration laws be changed. McCauley says Postville should serve as an example for change.
McCauley says they hope Postville will be the impetus for lawmakers to make changes in current immigration law and begin comprehensive reform with emphasis on just practices, family unity, and an end to raids. McCauley says Postville had been adapting to the influx of immigrants before the raid.
She says the raids "devastated" the town and right afterwards the town was "shattered" and then pulled together and strengthened itself as the town tried to help the people involved. But, she says the recovery did not last long after the raid.
McCauley says other people were brought into the plant that were just as needy and when the plant was shut down for a few days, those people depended on the community.
"It was just like almost too much need for the town to handle," McCauley says. She says business then started to shut down and the town was "really hurt." McCauley says invitations were sent to people throughout the country inviting them to join in the remembrance of the raid.