May 12, 2008
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided the Agriprocessor’s, Inc. plant in Postville, IA. This was one of the largest immigration raids ever; 389 people were arrested.
Feb, 2009
Perry-O Sliwa spoke at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Black Hawk County (UUSBHC): Where Do My Passions Meet the World’s Deepest Needs? Perry-O shared her story of her engagement with a family profoundly changed since the Postville Immigration raids. (If the link doesn't work, go to: www.uusbhc.org; In the left margin, click sermons/podcasts, then in the right margin click "Uncategorized" to find the topic above.)
Luis Argueta documented the Postville raid to tell the stories of those affected, in the film abUSed: The Postville Raid. Luis is now working on a follow-up documentary about those who are returning to the US on U-visas (visas which are granted to those working in the US under abusive work conditions).
Five young Guatemalan men receive U-visas due to working underage at the Agriprocessor’s plant (as young as 14 years old). This violation of child labor and other labor laws, along with their testimony agains Agriprocessor's, qualified them for U-visas. The U-visas allow the young men and their families to come to the United States with a temporary work status for 3 years. After 3 years, they can apply for permanent residency.
November, 2011
Two former UUs from Cedar Falls who now go to the UU church in Decorah heard that one of these families wanted to move to Waterloo to be close to other family in the area. They suggested to the Decorah area Faith Coalition that the UUSBHC might be able to help.
December, 2011
All five families leave Guatemala and arrive in the United States. Three families return to Postville, one goes to California to stay with family, and one arrives in Waterloo to be with family. Part of the group arrived December 15, accompanied by Luis Argueta, the film director, who documented their arrival. Others arrive December 22 and most of those remaining in January 2012.
December, 2011 - January 2012
Money, clothing, furniture, food, and more will be collected to help the Guatemalan family arriving in Waterloo to settle into their new home. See the "wish list" link above for details.
January – May, 2012,
2nd Sundays, 11:15am
An Adult Religious Education series on immigration issues will take place at the UUSBHC, based on the UUA recommended “common read” book The Death of Josseline: Immigration Stories from the Arizona Borderlands http://www.uua.org/interconnections/interconnections/170934.shtml
June 20-24, 2012
The Unitarian Universalist General Assembly in Phoenix, Arizona will focus on Immigration reform. http://www.uua.org/ga/