Detained after a May 2008 immigration raid at a Postville, Iowa, meatpacking plant, 18 Guatemalan workers have received housing and other aid from 17 churches, including First Lutheran, Decorah, Iowa (July 2008, "Call for immigration reform").
The 18 are material witnesses in the government’s labor-abuse case against the plant. Steven M. Jacobsen, pastor of First, told the Decorah Newspapers that workers each paid $7,000 to Guatemalan brokers who promised them legal employment in the U.S.
They then bought Social Security cards at the plant because the company said they needed them. “To think they are somehow criminal is criminal,” Jacobsen said.
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