Postville's population shrunk by 60% in one day.
As reported in Oct. 14 issue of the Des Moines Register, the Postville Immigration Raid that took place on May 12th, 2008 is now estimated at costing taxpayers $5.2 Million Dollars.
Startling when you calculate (as the Register did) that this equates to $13,396.00 for each of the 389 illegal immigrants taken into custody that day.
Not only has this move cost the state a tremendous amount of money, which undoubtedly could have been used for flood relief. It puts into perspective how the 'Macho Cowboy-- Round Em Up Mentality' did nothing but ham-string Postville's Main Street. Effectively what happened on that warm day in May was that Postville lost 60% of their population (fair to say the guts of any small town economy), countless families were torn apart, and all they are left with was vacant houses, empty businesses, single parent families, and not a clue of what to do now.
The part of this extended story (going back to the original search warrants that started this whole thing) that bothers me most is the way in which the Immigrant is portrayed as the most villainous, venomous creature to have ever stepped foot on planet earth or at least American soil.
Has you read Sinclair’s ‘the Jungle’? Have you ever worked for less than minimum wage, Iowa's is $7.25? Ever envisioned yourself operating an industrial style chainsaw to rip cow carcasses into two? How about cutting out cow tongues all day?
It’s not about vilifying. It’s about humanizing.