Mary McCauley, BVM submitted the following as a letter to the editor in the Telegraph Herald in Dubuque, Iowa.
On May 12, 2008, Postville, Iowa, experienced a devastating workplace immigration raid at Agriprocessors, the kosher meat packing plant.
Three hundred eighty-nine persons were arrested, families were separated, children cried out for their parents. Prayer vigils and rallies were held; we carried signs that read NO MORE RAIDS! We pleaded for a change in our immigration policy.
Reporters asked, “Do you approve of breaking a law?” I responded, “I do not approve of breaking a law but I do believe in reviewing a law when it is not in accord with a well informed conscience, the values of our country, and no longer meets the need of the day!”
Here it is 11 years later — Aug. 7, 2019. The City of El Paso, Texas, has experienced a mass shooting, whose apparent purpose was to bring harm to our Hispanic brothers and sisters. Our president visits El Paso to bring solace to families devastated by the shooting.
As he offers consolation in El Paso, some 1,000 miles east in Mississippi, other unconscionable raids are taking place, this time arresting 680 people. Once again, families are separated; children come home from their first day of school only to find that their mother and/or father has been arrested.
How can two such contradictory actions occur on the same day? Have we no respect for immigrants and their families? Have we no sense of justice? Have we no desire to demand a change in our immigration policy?
Iowans: speak out!
Why would anyone leave their home country?
Mary McCauley, BVM submitted the following for the July issue of Illegal Immigration Services published by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Dubuque.
The answer rests with what we call “push factors!” In the last few years a number of people from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador have made the difficult decision to migrate due to violence, unemployment, hunger, unsafe living conditions, food insecurity, and intense poverty within their home country. Knowing “the why” helps us recognize that this person or family had no real alternative.
“If I continue to stay here, I am going to be killed,” said a mother of two from Honduras.”
“I was forced to come to survive. . . I was earning $1.40 a day working in the fields. This is not enough to feed my four children.”
“In my country, life is not worth anything. You get killed for ten dollars. Thugs entered my house and killed my father, mother, and brother. I know they would come for me next so I ran away.”