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Postville, Iowa: A National Disgrace

Was this massive immigration raid a sign of things to come?
What's going on in the small town of Postville, Iowa is a national disgrace. Last Monday, ICE agents raided the Agriprocessors, Inc. kosher meat packing plant in pursuit of illegal immigrants. They arrested 300 undocumented workers—the largest single-site raid in the country—which has left the town of less than 3,000 people in utter chaos.

According to Nightprowlkitty at Docudharma (cross-posted at Daily Kos), families are unable to reach or receive any info about their detained loved ones. Lawyers can't access these workers either. Children are afraid to leave their homes to go to school. And to top it all off, federal authorities have the ability to ship these detainees across country for deportation without any notice.

Postville epitomizes the dire state of our national immigration system. You have undocumented workers who are subjected to inhuman labor practices because they can't come forward, can't unionize. And you have an ailing national economy that relies on the labor of undocumented workers, just like in Postville. You also have detainees being mistreated, even perishing, at the hands of grossly mismanaged private detention facilities, which make huge profits at the taxpayers' expense. Meanwhile, the families of these detainees (including children who are here legally by birthright) are left in the dark.

With an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in our country, is Postville what we're going to see from now on?

Daily Kos also has ways to send aid to the Postville families affected by the raids.
ZP Heller is the editorial director of Brave New Films. He has written for The American Prospect, AlterNet, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Huffington Post, covering everything from politics to pop culture.
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