Guatemalan Workers in Iowa Reunite with Family Members

More than two dozen Guatemalans were reunited in December with their family members, eight former Agriprocessors workers whom they had not seen in years. Many of the travelers were children whose mothers left Guatemala years ago to earn money in Postville to send back to their families. Some were parents or siblings of former underage teen workers. "It was a very emotional moment," said Sister Mary McCauley, a Sister of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary who was among those who met the bus as it pulled up Dec. 4 in front of St. Bridget Church in Postville. Sister Mary was pastoral administrator at the Postville parish at the time of the largest immigration raid in U.S. history at the Agriprocessors kosher meat packing plant on May 12, 2008. "Seeing their faces as they recognized loved ones was indescribable!" Although it was 73 degrees when the group left Guatemala, the warmth of the ecstatic welcomes overshadowed the frigid Iowa temperature and the more than 7 inches of snow on the ground in Postville. The group was soon ushered inside the warm church hall, where a large crowd had gathered. After a rousing welcome, there was a short time for prayers of gratitude. Sister Mary recalled the tears that flowed in that room the day of the raid in 2008. "Now this room is filled with tears for a very different reason," she said.

 

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