Immigration officials raided a meat plant in Postville, Iowa this Monday. The New York Times called it the “biggest workplace immigration raid this year.” Over 300 workers were arrested under suspicion that they were working under false documents.
Considering how a raid in 2006 was handled in a different town in Iowa, it’s very likely that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have arrested people who are innocent of any criminal wrongdoing. It is likely that many families will end up struggling, not only emotionally over the loss of relatives and loved ones, but economically as well.
Raids like these are dangerous for many reasons, one of which can be serious social repercussions. These kinds of raids continue to stigmatize Latinos and other minorities; it makes them all out to be criminals in the eyes of many US citizens and perpetuates anti-immigration myths.
Criminalizing immigrants is definitely not the solution to the immigration reform problem. The National Latina Institute believes that the particular needs of immigrant women must be taken into account. To read more about this, check out the guiding principles of the National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights.
For those in New York City, go here to get info about an upcoming May 1st Coalition event on immigration taking place May 31st.
–Raquel Namuche, NLIRH Community Mobilization Intern