LatinaLista — Today is the anniversary of one of the largest work-site immigration raids in U.S. history. It was one year ago that federal officials stormed a Postville, Iowa kosher meat packing plant and didn’t just detain 389 men and women but economically devastated a whole town.
From this tragedy has emerged countless tragic stories of how immigrant families caught up in the raid have been separated from one another. The breadwinner of the family deported and the remaining spouse left to fend for the family. Sometimes, the spouse left behind is undocumented him/herself and can’t work and, to this day, is forced to rely on the charitable contributions of the town’s churches and charities.
But because both parents are immigrants, their stories of separation due to deportation and the impact it has on the children left behind, are seldom heard. Yet, the same story of separation is happening to other families as well, where one parent is an American citizen.
Lourdes and John Adams enjoyed each other’s company before Lourdes was deported leaving John and her two children behind.
(Source: John Adams)
That’s the case with John and Lourdes Adams.
John Adams found himself in the thick of the nation’s immigration troubles after falling in love with a woman named Lourdes from Guatemala. A year after their marriage, John and Lourdes were at the final meeting with an immigration officer to adjust her status from illegal to resident when the officer learned that Lourdes had once been picked up on an immigration violation and had not shown up in court. Lourdes was deported and John is now raising their two children, Alexa and Orlando, alone.
Unlike the Postville immigrant families separated by deportation, John isn’t afraid to speak out. And that’s exactly what he did when he sat down to talk to public radio’s Steve Gordon on “The Story.”
Though he’s an American by birth, John’s experience has forced him to see his country in a new light where justice is hard to justify when it means separating a mother from her children and a wife from her husband.
Listen to John explain what the separation has done to his family and his startling discovery of his country’s dark side.