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Sights and sounds of the Postville rally

POSTVILLE, IOWA — This is the first of two video reports on a rally here Sunday to support 400 immigrant workers who were arrested earlier this year in a raid on a kosher meat-packing plant in this community. About 1,000 people attended the rally spearheaded by Jewish Community Action in St. Paul, a social justice group that bused about 130 people from the Twin Cities to Postville on Sunday. The undocumented workers were arrested May 12 at the Agriprocessors Inc. plant. The second video report will appear Tuesday.

Postville rally series: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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Comments (2)

Thanks to Steve Date and MinnPost.com for this much needed coverage.

An eyewitness account of how our justice system operated after the Iowa raid, has been written by Erik Camayd-Freixas, Ph.D. who was one of 26 federally certified interpreters there at the time. A link to his account is provided in the New York Times editorial of July 13, 2008 which was titled "The Shame of Postville, Iowa". Its url is : http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/13/opinion/13sun2.html

Here , for example , is a paragraph from the Camayd-Freixas essay :

"It came with my first jail interview. The purpose was for the attorney to explain the
uniform Plea Agreement that the government was offering. The explanation, which we repeated
over and over to each client, went like this. There are three possibilities. If you plead guilty to the
charge of “knowingly using a false Social Security number,” the government will withdraw the
heavier charge of “aggravated identity theft,” and you will serve 5 months in jail, be deported
without a hearing, and placed on supervised release for 3 years. If you plead not guilty, you
could wait in jail 6 to 8 months for a trial (without right of bail since you are on an immigration
detainer). Even if you win at trial, you will still be deported, and could end up waiting longer in
jail than if you just pled guilty. You would also risk losing at trial and receiving a 2-year
minimum sentence, before being deported. Some clients understood their “options” better than
others."

Thank you for showing us the people we have been reading about. It helps me see between the lines.

Another town working on how to live with new faces and change is Pelican Rapids, Minnesota.

Here is a fascinating look at FACES OF CHANGE:

http://pelicanrapids.lib.mn.us/facesofchange.html

The global village is everywhere.