Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > Postville Latino community leaders ask, “What good comes from tearing so many families apart?”

Postville Latino community leaders ask, “What good comes from tearing so many families apart?”

We only want to know one thing — what good comes from displacing so many families?
Mario Basurto, project coordinator of the Centro Latinoamericano, asking about the ICE raid in Postville, Iowa.

LatinaLista — Yesterday’s Postville raid at the Agriprocessors’ plant is being boasted as the state’s largest raid netting 390 undocumented immigrants: 290 Guatemalans; 93 Mexicans and a handful of Ukranians and Israelis.
All of the detainees are being held at the National Cattle congress grounds. Among those detained, twelve were minors believed to be 16 and 17-years-old.
Since yesterday, 56 of those detained, mostly women and six of the juveniles, have been released on humanitarian grounds according to ICE. Yet, that only means that these women must start making arrangements for themselves and their children to be deported.
While ICE justified their raid as one of identity theft and using false Social Security numbers, it is being reported that there were some apprehended that were not criminally charged but will be remanded to the U.S. Marshall’s office for deportation proceedings.
However, accurate information is hard to come by for local officials who are trying to calm a town hit by a Department of Homeland Security immigration raid that seems to have had more than its fair share of “sources.”
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Eli Rodriguez hugs his nephew, Kevin Rodriguez-Jimenez, 6, on Monday as they wait across the street from Agriprocessors Inc. in Postville, Iowa. They were hoping for word of the boy’s mother, a plant employee. An agent later told them that the woman’s name was not on the detainee list.
(Source: Des Moines Register)
Mario Basurto, project coordinator, of Centro Latinoamericano in Waterloo, Iowa has been working around the clock since the raids took place. Usually averaging about 20-30 clients a day, where they help people regardless of citizenship status with any issues they may have, Basurto tells Latina Lista that it’s now more like 50-100 clients a day.
“People are scared,” Basurto says.

In fact, people are so scared that they’re afraid to come forward. Basurto said that some of the juveniles detainees are afraid to say anything out of fear of implicating their families.
“They’re (ICE) treating these people like numbers and they’re human beings,” Basurto said his voice cracking as he reflected on the past 24 hours.
When asked if there was any one case that stood out in his mind from the day’s blur of attending to crying spouses and terrified children, Basurto paused and said that each case was special.
Yet seeing firsthand so much human anguish and despair definitely has had an impact on those trying to help the area families affected by the raid.
“It tears you apart,” Basurto said. “It’s not right, it’s not right that people are looked at as numbers and not human beings.”
The magnitude of the raid’s impact on area families has yet to be determined but Basurto anticipates there being a big need since those apprehended were the main breadwinners for their families.
To help these families, a bank account has been set up ready to accept monetary donations. The Postville Support Fund, has been set up at Veridian Credit Union. Basurto says that the money will be sent directly to the people who are in need of it.
Editor’s Note: The local newspaper, WCF Courier , has done a very good job covering the incident. Among their video footage, they have a virtual tour of where the detainees are being held – it was submitted by ICE officials.

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  • Frank
    May 13, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    Unfreaking, unbelievable! I am so sick of these stinking sob stories about illegal aliens who made the choice to violate our immigration laws and they and their sympathizers whining about the enforcement of our laws when caught, I could just vomit!
    Who the hell do they think they are and why are their legal counterparts being such traitors to this country by supporting them? God help us if they are going to be the new majority down the line. This country will have nothing but chaos and ethnocentric racism in it.

  • Grandma
    May 13, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    What is not in this article is that there was a 2 year investigtion into this company. There were three confidential informants who worked there. There were legal search warrants signed by a judge who believed there was enough evidence for a raid.
    There was aggravated identity theft, social security fraud, false document crimes, and a meth lab found in this company. But all we’re worried about is displaced families. Would you be posting an article if it were American citizens arrested for the same crimes and would you be worrying about the displaced families? I think not. Millions of American citizens are arrested everyday for crimes but no ones worries about displaced families. Why? They have to leave their families behind when they’re sentenced to prison. Why do you worry so much about displaced families of illegal aliens who have broken the law entering this country and then arrested when they’re caught? I believe in accepting responsibility for your actions. Apparently you don’t nor do illegal aliens.

  • Challis
    May 14, 2008 at 11:14 am

    G-ma and Frank:
    I think what you are failing to recognise here is where we are coming from (as supporters of human rights for the undocumented).
    It is HARD/IMPOSSIBLE to migrate to the US legally for many of these people. They are looking for a better life, one where they can feed their families and feel safe. THAT is why there are some of us Americans out here that are sympathetic to the illegal immigrant.
    Liberty and Justice for ALL, anyone?
    by the way, I have agreed to things that you have both posted in the past, this is an issue with many sides and views. I just am wondering why you seem to be unable to see the vaild opinions of those who feel differently than you do.

  • Frank
    May 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Challis, there is a reason that our immigration policies are what they are. We have to have quotas from different countries to be fair and to make assimmilation occur instead of colonization from too many from one ethnic group. We also need more immigrants with an education rather than without one. Our immigration policies are to serve the best interests of the American people, not immigrants. Afterall, it is our country!
    Why don’t they stay in their own country and make it better? How is Mexico ever going to change if Mexicans lack the backbone to insist that their government make changes to improve economic conditions there for them?
    We aren’t the babysitters of the world and a giant sponge to absorb the whole world’s poor. We would destroy ourselves if we did that.

    May 14, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Strange you would pick the last line to the Pledge of Allegiance to America when the illegal immigrants allegiance remains with Mexico. They, as you say, come here to feed their families and feel safe as long as they can maintain their culture, language and Mexican identity, not to assimilate or becme citizens. It is disturbing to the majority of American citizens that the illegal immigrants, and their supporters, expect us to bend to their demands for equality and rights that they have not earned. If the illegal immigrants want to change the way a nation is governed, they need to start with their own countries government, not the government of the U.S.A. Let them march, protest and demonstrate in the streets of Mexico City and demand equality and rights from their own nation. In other words, clean up their own house instead of moving into mine.

  • Frank
    May 14, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Challis, another thing, while they are making a better life for themselves here, they are creating less of a quality of life for us. They don’t pay in enough taxes to cover their social costs in this country. We taxpayers have to subisidize them thru our taxes. Then there is the overcrowding of our schools and hospitals with the added burden of the additional population growth. They give birth to babies that we have to pay for and that also adds to our population growth. What about our culture? 20 years ago an American didn’t have to speak Spanish to get a job in their own country. Now because of the this huge influx of illegal Spanish speakers, we are supposed to? They are taking jobs in construction and other industries for cut rate wages and taking them from Americans and depressing wages also. If you are a citizen, why aren’t you thinking about your fellow citizens rather than some illegal foreigners who haven’t even respected our laws?

  • Alex
    May 14, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    I wonder what church do Frank, Horace, Grandma, EOT and the other xenophobes go to. Their show no compassion for those who just want to put food on their families tables. No crime in that. The other ones who go to penitenciaries, do commit crimes which deserve them to be locked there. But these immigrants get separated from their families and children just for looking for ways to earn their daily bread. What would you tell God when you encounter Him face to face about your evil doings. The Rule of law? You will be holding hands together in Hell.

  • Frank
    May 14, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    Alex, and where is your compassion for the American people and respect for your own country’s laws?
    These illegal aliens are seperating themselves from their families. If an American commits a crime, should we not lock them up because they would be seperated from their families? Get real, will you?
    You are the one that is going the have to answer for your racist ethnocentricism to God and you will burn in hell for it and your hateful remarks to your fellow American citizens.

  • laura
    May 15, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Ales says, “The Rule of law? You will be holding hands together in Hell.”
    The anti-Latino racists “Frank” etc. are already in hell, Alex. In the hell of cowardice, ignorance and spiritual poverty.

  • Evelyn
    May 15, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Laura and Alex “ROCK”. It’s good to see people who are not intimidated by ignorant bullies who are racist to boot. YOU GO GUYS!!!

  • Frank
    May 17, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    Didn’t you just chastize Horace under another topic about name calling? Hypocrite!

  • Frank
    May 17, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    Laura, please explain how wanting our immigration laws enforced is being a “Latino racist”.
    You are the ignorant one that can’t debate civily and resort to childish name calling. Disgusting!
    I asked you where is your compassion for the American people since you want to preach compassion, hypocrite! Won’t anwer, will you?
    I hardly think that respecting the laws of our country equates to “spiritual poverty”. However those who violate our laws and those who stick up for these law breakers should question their own spirituality. Do you think God smiles down on you calling law abiing Americans all kinds of nasty unwarranted names? Better burn you bible. You are only hiding behind it to hide your true satanic nature.

  • Evelyn
    May 18, 2008 at 12:26 am

    Because you choose to show your ignorance by being a racist is not my fault go give yourself a good kick in the rear. I never told you to become a racist. I sure didnt force you either, in fact I did everything to dissuade you from it. Like I stated many times I never call you a name you dont label yourself with first.

  • Frank
    May 18, 2008 at 8:10 am

    Perhaps it would be to the advantage of the name callers in here to look up the word “racist and/or bigot” in the dictionary as they don’t seem to know what it means. Many in here think it just means being opposed to illegal immigration and wanting our immigration laws enforced. THEY WOULD BE WRONG!
    In debating any issue it is not adultlike to resort to name calling no matter what you feelings are about the person or persons you are debating with. It is best to attack the messege and not the messenger. It serves no purpose to turn a debate into a mud slinging match and just shows how weak your arguments are when one resorts to these kinds of tactics.
    Of course I am a believer in a debator being able to defend themselves from such childish personal attacks.

  • Alex
    May 18, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    As many people understand, strugling to provide food for your family working hard for it is not a crime, not even a sin in the eyes of God. People who cannot afford being “legal” in our country should not be separated from their families because NOW we want to enforce our unjust immigration laws, that were not and did not care them being enforced before. We just looked the other way because we need them to do the nasty, unwanted jobs that let us enjoy our nice and presumptuos life styles. Now, due to the catastrophic economic policies of the RepubliKlans and the international boicot against U.S. products, due to our bullish foreign policies, racists and the Republiklans are scapgoating these realities on undoccumented workers that, contrary to what Racists groups claim, do contribute to our economic development and their hard, unrecognized work help us all do our jobs much easier and enjoyable. And, I do not mind my taxes paying for their education and health, rather than paying for the genocide we are commiting in Irak and Afghanistan. I read the postings of these ragist groups bloggers saying that our economy suffers because we pay for their schools and health care. If they are so concerned about our economy, why do not they oppose spending billions of dollars a month in illegal wars that alienate the world against us and do not make us safer at all. Answer, these xenophobes do not care about the economy or our moral stand in the world, even though they praise themselves as patriots with stickers in their high consuming gas trucks, SUVS, or wearing flag pins in their clothings or caps. That is no patriotism.

  • Evelyn
    May 19, 2008 at 1:21 am

    It is definitely you who is confused about the meaning of racist. Look in the mirror or check out one of your posts. That is a perfect example of a racist.
    The most dispicable part of this type of racism are the lies and misinformation used against other human beings without any regard to the damage you do to yourselves. If you have no respect for yourself, and are that consumed with hate, what can any human being expect from you? NOTHING GOOD THATS FOR SURE!

  • Frank
    May 19, 2008 at 8:16 am

    Alex, stealing, lying and cheating is not an admirable way to support one’s family. Our immigration laws are not unjust.
    No, the American people did not look the other way on illegal immigration, our government did! We are not them and they are not us! They didn’t see that our immigration laws were enforced after the last amnesty.
    How does racism enter into this picture? We are the most diverse nation on this planet. We just ask that immigrants come legally to our country and for many good reasons.
    Since when would we be viewed as immoral to the world for enforcing our immigration laws? All countries enforce their immigration laws, including your beloved Mexico. Are they also viewed in the eyes of the world as heartless for doing so?
    How can we be xenophobic? As I said we are the most diverse nation on this planet. That doesn’t equate to “a fear of strangers”!
    As far as our economy goes. We did fine without millions of illegal aliens in our work force prior to this invasion. It is only making the rich richer with the cheap labor. We need to get away from a population driven economy which is what is happening with millions of illegal aliens here. Better in the long run. So yes, I am concerned about the economy. You just have tunnel vision without looking at the long terms costs of a population driven economy.

  • Challis
    May 20, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    OUCH! Alex and Laura, geeze,
    little harsh there.
    I think that Frank has made some vaild points here to defend his view on this issue, and in a respectful manner.
    maybe you are reacting to previous interactions or posts from him?
    While I don’t agree 100% with Frank’s opinions about illegal aliens creating less of a quality life for us, I think that he has presented his views in a manner that certianly doesn’t warrant the hateful responses.
    also in response to this:
    “stealing, lying and cheating is not an admirable way to support one’s family. Our immigration laws are not unjust.”
    no it is certianly not admirable to support your family in this way, but this is not what we are discussing; unless you are intimating that all illegal aliens do these things.
    and while the immigration laws may or may not be unjust, they are certainly outdated and ineffective.

  • Frank
    May 20, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    Challis, thank you for your civility and acknowledging that some in here cannot seem to debate without name calling and insults. I have always been civil so no, they aren’t reacting to any negative manner that I have handled myself in the past.
    What I meant by earning a living by stealing, lying and cheating was about those who have taken a job from an American (stealing), cheating (not coming here legally) and lying (working with fake documents). All of them are guilty of the cheating part. Many are also guilty of the other two.

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