Lots of folks are still taking refuge in St. Bridget's, and they are not going to leave till ICE leaves town. The church ran out of food last night. If you care to help feed the children and other family members who are hiding there, you can send a check to (updated address):
St. Bridget's Hispanic Fund
P.O. Box 369
Postville, IA 52162
in care of Sister Mary McCauley
The phone number that comes up on Google is for the rectory; if you want to talk to the kitchen staff, call (563) 864-3142 instead.
I have had a couple of conversations with townspeople about the situation in Postville. Reactions range from pity for the children who are so bereft at the moment, to "Let 'em go hungry. Ship 'em back to Mexico." I'd like to clarify that I am not anti-raid, anti-ICE, anti-Homeland Security. I appreciate that they stepped in to enforce the law of the land. My complaint is that no allowances were made for caring for the bystanders who did not choose to come to Iowa with their fathers and/or mothers, or did not choose to be born here. My beef is also with the owners and managers of Agriprocessors, who could not see past the dollar signs well enough to insist that their company kept the law of the land. There are ways to keep your work force legal. Others manage. They could have, too.
I'm really concerned about the cases where it appears that ICE looked at individual family units and determined that though Mom and Dad will be deported, there is a high school aged student still at home who can take responsibility for the younger siblings. I think of my own high school aged daughter, responsible as she is, and what would happen should Barry and I just suddenly be hauled off in a bus with no hope of return, with the government expecting her to take care of her brother and sister and all their needs, and it makes me shiver for those high school kids down there.
One more thought (and I cannot promise it will be the last): As parents, part of our job is to keep our children safe. Breaking the law is not protecting our children. I could get hauled away in a truck if I broke the law. Any parent could. Now these particular parents brought their families to Iowa to provide a better life for them than they had in Honduras or Guatemala or Mexico. Yet the fact that their being here broke the law, still leaves the children in a very tenuous situation.