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ICE officers
ICE officials line up detainees by the white van before heading into
Electric Park for court on the National Cattle Congress grounds in
Waterloo, Iowa Thursday, May 15, 2008.
AP Photo/The Waterloo Courier/Matthew Putney
Editor’s note: Below are excerpts from a letter, circulated on the web by the Sisters of Charity in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, from a school teacher in Postville, Iowa, about her experiences on May 12 as the largest ICE immigration raid in history was unfolding. During the raid, the entire town was surrounded
and nearly 400 people arrested.

Yesterday, our town was raided by 400 FBI agents, ICE agents (formerly known as INS), state troopers, and a variety of other agencies. We had helicopters flying overhead for hours, all roads were blocked coming into and going out of Postville,…Ironically, as this all transpired, I was at the county courthouse with my Government class, so that they could see first hand how our judicial system works…

I received calls from the school not to come back to school because I have students they were concerned about. (Yes, they are undocumented students who have been in this district since they were in fourth grade…)

…We made it back into Postville,...We have 150 students with no parents to go home to. We are told that we need to  stay with them until we find out where their parents are or a relative that will care for them until their parents are found. Many of these kids lost both parents due to the raid…

…as a human being and as a parent, I find it disturbing to see little elementary kids crying for their parents and asking you to take them home, and all one can say is, I am sorry, or we are looking for them. By the way, we got no information from ICE as to who they arrested, and whether or not their parents were being detained. At this point, I just wanted to go home and hug my own kids...

Today, I am missing about half of my students. Some have taken off for Chicago, others are hiding in town, some were arrested, and others are at the Catholic Church…

Interestingly enough, my US History students made a direct correlation between what we all witnessed yesterday to our history lesson three weeks ago. We have been studying W.W.II and the Holocaust. I had them view the movie ‘Schindler’s List’ and the things that happened in the movie, with the Nazis rounding up the Jews, having them report
their names and families’ names, transporting them to unknown places, keeping them in substandard holding areas, and then getting rid of them, was very much like what happened yesterday, with one exception, the US has not practiced the use of genocide.

ICE is today doing house to house searches of every home and apartment that has a Hispanic name attached to it. It is rather scary to see search teams go from place to place, looking for immigrants. We had agencies at the school a month ago with a subpoena to seize all student and employee files. Any name that sounded remotely Hispanic was flagged. I find this to be a form of racial profiling,…

How quickly we forget our own histories. Many of our ancestors came here with nothing to their names and very little
to survive on…Why not go after the people who really are doing something illegal and wrong? Like drug dealers or child molesters? If we spent as much money on those items as we are currently spending on the War in Iraq…or on building a 700 mile long wall on the Mexican border which is actually 2300 miles long, we would maybe live in a better economy that was safe for our families.



free gas
Photo donated by flickr.com

By Pastor Mary Gault

The hottest topic of conversation these days appears to be the price of gasoline. Fingers of blame point to dwindling oil reserves, other countries consumption, speculators, oil guzzling vehicles, and the falling value of the U.S. dollar. Businesses are raising their prices to cover the extra cost for transportation of their goods. The higher prices impact all of us to varying degrees. In order to get your business,  gas stations, grocery stores, car dealerships, and even realtors, are offering the public free gasoline.

But the most affected are those whose income falls at or below the poverty level. They are the ones who have no cushion to cover any higher prices. Food, clothing, medicine and gasoline to name a few living expenses, all are increasing with no promise of relief. Getting to work now becomes problematic in areas without adequate public transportation.

Therefore, to help those in need a new 501(c)(3) charity has been formed. It is called Free Gas USA, Inc. and is based in Kalamazoo. Michigan. (Visit our website at: http://www.freegasusa.org/. It’s mission states: Recognizing the importance of gasoline as a means to sustain our nation’s economy, Free Gas USA, Inc. is dedicated to provide advocacy and financial grant assistance for needy Americans. In order to facilitate this goal we partner with public, private, philanthropic and religious organizations to maintain and/or enhance the dignity and overall quality of life of our clients.


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This article originated in the People's Tribune
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