Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the ICE raid on the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, IA – at the time the largest immigration raid in US history. Here in Chicago, I was honored gather with the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs and other orgs for an interfaith rally at Federal Plaza. It offered an important opportunity to remember this infamous milestone and to help keep immigration reform/worker justice alive on the national radar.
Our gathering offered prayers, updates and testimonies, after which we marched several blocks to ICE headquarters where each name of the 389 arrested Agriprocessor employees was read aloud (below). It was a powerful moment of bearing witness – a reminder that our advocacy of immigration reform represents a fight for the real individuals, real lives, real families.
After all the names were read, we delivered a letter to Feds that demanded an end to unjust raids, detention and deportations. Following the rally, several members of our delegation traveled to Postville to mark the anniversary with a gathering at St. Bridget’s Church and the Agriprocessors plant. (Click here to donate to help support the residents of this devastated community.)
Though the Obama administration supports reform, there are any number of obstacles that might prevent immigration legislation from making it to a vote in Congress in 2009. Passage of the newly reintroduced DREAM Act would certainly be a great start (it’s currently eight votes short). Click here to offer your support.