Washington, DC-NCLR (National Council of La Raza), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, today expressed solidarity with the community of Postville, Iowa, on the one-year anniversary of one of the largest workplace raids to date, which clearly demonstrated the failure and human cost of our broken immigration system. On May 12, 2008, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided Agriprocessors, Inc., detaining 389 people, including parents and underage children found working in the factory. St Bridget's Church has been caring for the needs of dozens of families, including children, while they await the resolutions of their cases.
Community leaders and people of faith will gather today in Postville to reflect on the devastating raid at a local meat-processing plant in a prayer service at St. Bridget's Church. Churches and organizations throughout the country will join in commemorative events in their communities.
"NCLR believes our country can and should enforce its immigration laws. But as with any set of laws, our nation should enforce them wisely and well," said Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO. "We cannot continue to tear families apart, undermine our system of due process, and wreak havoc on communities like Postville, where children have borne the brunt of the raid." Nationally, there are almost five million children with at least one undocumented parent, and it is estimated that for every two immigrants detained as a result of worksite raids, approximately one child is left behind.
Murguía emphasized that NCLR's efforts are aimed at finding practical solutions to immigration issues. "Restoring the rule of law to our immigration system requires systematic change and smart enforcement strategies that do not blur the line between innocent workers and those who mean us harm," she said. "We need policies that protect families, children, workers, and our nation's ideals."
For more information visit www.nclr.org