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Monday, June 09, 2008

Iowa Independent: Postville Mayor: Recovery Could Take Years

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent
Although Postville Mayor Robert Penrod believes his community is slowly working its way back to something akin to life the way it was before a May 12 federal immigration raid on Agriprocessors, a kosher meatpacking plant, he also freely admits that it is going to be a slow and perhaps painful process. ... Penrod, who is a full-time employee at a business in a neighboring community in addition to serving as Postville's mayor, wasn't in town on the morning of the raid. He also received no notice before Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents swooped in on his town's largest employer and took 389 people -- 18 percent of the town's total population -- into federal custody on possible immigration violations. "The day of the raid it was like a disaster because everything was just in chaos," he said. "I felt that way at the time -- that it was like a disaster area -- but I don't think I feel that way now. We are getting back to normal as much as we can. But the truth is that it's definitely going to take months, if not a few years, to get everything back up to snuff again."

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Mike Schramm
Andy Szal

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