A Mount Pleasant teenager is wondering when or if he’ll get to see his stepfather again. Fifteen-year-old Oscar Lopez says the man he’s always called “dad” was among the 32 people taken in Wednesday’s immigration raid at the Midwest Precast Concrete plant.
“When I was younger, my real dad left my mom and I…and he just stepped in when I was about three. He’s been here ever since and I consider him my dad,” Lopez said. “I think of him as the hardest working man there is. He just really…he just tried to get a roof over our head, food to us, everything – give us the best life there could be.”
Like other families impacted by the raid, Lopez said he and his mother are now trying to navigate the legal system and figure out how to pay the bills. Oscar, a sophomore at Mount Pleasant High School, is the only bilingual member of his family. He stayed home from school on Thursday to help his mom.
“I didn’t go to school because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to concentrate on anything. I’m just thinking about my dad and the situation that’s going on right now,” Lopez said. Because Lopez’s mother works, he believes his family is better off than others. Local churches and community groups are taking donations to help families pay for legal fees. Lopez said, aside from financial issues, he’s troubled by the thought of not seeing his stepfather in the stands at his soccer games.
“We both play (soccer) and we both enjoy it. Right now, it’s soccer season and I won’t be able to see him,” Lopez said. “I just really want my dad out and be able to see him.” The 32 people arrested at Midwest Precast Concrete are being held at multiple locations in the state.
(Thanks to Kate Payne, Iowa Public Radio/KCRG TV photo)