[Guest Post] Turn a Tragedy into a Victory for Justice

In May 2008, federal immigration agents raided the small town of Postville, IA – separating families and devastating a community. JCUA responded immediately (see photos), and worked with the Postville community in the years following the raid (read article). Nearly 5 years after the raid, JCUA’s partners in Iowa are calling for comprehensive immigration reform with renewed hope and urgency. 

by Sr. Mary McCauley, BVM
Dubuque, Iowa

Soon we will commemorate the Fifth Anniversary of the 2008 Immigration Raid in Postville, Iowa.  Having been in Postville at that time, I still carry with me the suffering of the people.

JCUA members protesting in Postville (July, 2008)

JCUA members, Postville – July, 2008 (more photos)

I recall the small girl with a scrap of paper in her hand crawling up the steps into the sanctuary and handing her paper to our Hispanic Minister with words that were clear and direct.  “Please bring my daddy home!”

I recall the women walking the streets of Postville with mandated GPS devices on their ankles.  During our walks and prayer vigils they held their heads high and carried signs that read:  “We are not criminals.  We came to work.  We came to feed our families.  We are mothers.”

I recall the words of Rigoberto Menchu, the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize winner from Guatemala, who visited with those affected by the raid:  “I see the problem of Postville as full of injustices.  You should not rest until justice is done….”

The people, the memories, the pain, the injustices and the words of Menchu continue to haunt me.  I cannot rest until justice is done.

Five years ago a tragedy took place in Iowa.  Iowans responded with compassion, sensitivity and justice. Today there is another opportunity for Iowans to respond.  May we unite with one another and support legislation for comprehensive immigration reform.    May we turn the tragedy of Postville into a victory for justice.   May we not rest until justice is done!

Mary McCauley, BVM
Dubuque, Iowa 52003

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: