About a thousand protesters descended on a small town in northeastern Iowa on Sunday, decrying the raid of a meatpacking plant that arrested nearly 400 residents and calling for a change in federal immigration policies.
Postville, a town with about 2,200 residents, was pushed to the forefront of a national debate when federal immigration officials raided Agriprocessors—the nation’s biggest kosher meatpacking plant—in May in the largest raid of its kind in the United States. Most of those arrested were Guatemalan and Mexican nationals who lived in the area.
Sunday’s protesters—many arriving by bus from the Twin Cities and Chicago—circled the streets of Postville on a route about a mile long. Some clutched banners and signs such as one that read, “United for immigrant and worker rights.”
Rabbi Harold Kravitz of the Adath Jeshurun Congregation in Minnetonka, Minn., spoke when the rally paused near the driveway of Agriprocessors, on the outskirts of town.
Shouting into a portable microphone, he said the protesters wanted to stop the criminalization of people who come to the U.S. simply to make a living.