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Anything from the Iowa gulags?

29 January 2007

Last I heard, the indocumentados were still incommunicado.  And, aren’t there a lot of national politicians tromping around Iowa these days… it’s not a very big state.  Folks there can’t exactly say “Ve zee nothink, ve know nothink.” 

The Dec. 12 raid at the Swift & Co plant in Marshalltown has left immigrants in the central Iowa town with a lingering sense of uncertainty and fear, said an official with a statewide Hispanic group.

The fallout from the raid has also prompted the local newspaper to organize a community summit to address immigration issues.

The raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents resulted in 97 people being detained. The impact continues to be felt six weeks later, said Erica Palmer, a community organizer with Latinos in Action, a chapter of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement.

“From what we’re hearing, a lot of people are out of work and a lot of people are moving out of town,” Palmer said.

The raids, she said, also have made some Hispanics afraid to go out in public.

“That fear is very real,” she said. “That fear of taking your children to school, or going to the grocery store, that’s a very real thing in the community.”

Meanwhile, non-Hispanics “are angry about how the raids were carried out and how the people were treated,” she said.

Ken Larson, the managing editor of the Marshalltown Times-Rebublican, said a summit is scheduled for Feb. 26 at Dejarden Hall at Marshalltown Community College.

And, once again, here’s the address for Sister Jean Feagan and the Hispanic Ministry at St. Mary’s Catholic Church who’ve picked up the ball and are caring for the disparacido’s children (or maybe orphans?):

Hispanic Ministry
12 West Linn Street
Marshalltown, Iowa USA 50158

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