Reflections of New Minnesotans: Luis Argueta and the Postville Raid

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In 2008, over 900 federal agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) executed a raid on Agriprocessors Inc, the nations’ largest Kosher meat-packing plant in the US. What followed were gross violations of civil liberties of over 400 undocumented immigrants; and a discovery of pro-longed bad labor practices by the owners of the meat plant. 

I chatted with award-winning filmmaker Luis Argueta who felt that “by weaving together the personal stories of the individuals, the families, and the town directly affected by the Postville raid would present the human face of the issue of immigration reform and serves as a cautionary tale against abuses of constitutional human rights.” [AUDIO BELOW]

Even if you are familiar with what happened in Postville it is worth your while watching this documentary. Even with my intimate knowledge of what happened in Postville, I found the film’s narration fresh, as if I was hearing about it for the first time. A sure tear-jerker, the film questions the treatment of undocumented immigrants as second-class citizens. 

aBUsed-The Postville Raid

Reading:

  1. Julia Preston’s New York Times article that compelled Argueta to make his first trip to see firsthand what had happened in Postville. 
  2. In the interview with Argueta we reference an essay by Dr. Erik Camayd-Freixas “Interpreting after the Largest ICE Raid in US History”:  […]Then began the saddest procession I have ever witnessed, which the public would never see, because cameras were not allowed past the perimeter of the compound (only a few journalists came to court the following days, notepad in hand). Driven single-file in groups of 10, shackled at the wrists, waist and ankles, chains dragging as they shuffled through, the slaughterhouse workers were brought in for arraignment, sat and listened through headsets to the interpreted initial appearance, before marching out again to be bused to different county jails, only to make room for the next row of 10.
  3. My interview with Dr. Erik Camayd-Freixas on re-framing the immigration reform via a human rights angle.