Abused-PostvilleOn May 12, 2008, the tiny town of Postville, Iowa, made national headlines when it became the site of one of the largest raids on undocumented workers in the United States. Officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested 389 undocumented employees of Agriprocessors, Inc, and the nation watched as the workers were handcuffed and put in chains, and many deported to their home countries in a matter of days. Families were plunged into poverty, loved ones were sent to prison, and a town’s economy was devastated.

More than a year after the Agriprocessors raid, a new full-length documentary examines the lasting impact the raid has had on those convicted, those deported, and those left behind.  In abUSed—The Postville Raid, director Luis Argueta and producer Vivian Rivas examine the complexities of illegal immigration, and the human rights issues surrounding the arrest and prosecution of violators. The film’s trailer begs the question, “Who benefits when quietly hardworking people are torn from the lives they’ve tried to build?” and perhaps more importantly, “Who else suffers?”

On the site, you can view a lengthy trailer for the documentary, as well as photos, commentary and links to news coverage of the Postville raid. The filmmakers speak with undocumented workers in Postville who now, unable to work, live off the charity of others. They speak to Postville natives, whose small businesses have folded after the town’s economy, largely dependent on the Agriprocessors plant, was ruined. And they follow the deportees to their home countries, for many of them Guatemala, where they have returned to the life of poverty they desperately sought to avoid. The faces of the Postville raid make a powerful case for a call to human decency, and abUSed ensures that even after they are out of the headlines, these faces won’t be forgotten.