“abUSed” exposes the far-reaching impacts of US immigration policy

As the presidential campaign heats up, immigration policy will continue to be a topic of debate. The Second Saturday Documentary Series invites the community to look at the impacts of current policy — impacts on undocumented workers, their families, and their adopted communities — with the screening of abUSed: the Postville Raid on Saturday, January 9, at 1:30 p.m., at Niles Discovery Church, 36600 Niles Blvd., Fremont. The screening is free (though donations are welcome to help cover expenses) and will be followed by a discussion about the issues raised in the film.

abUSedabUSed takes an in-depth look at one particular ICE raid to expose how immigration policy and policy enforcement touch multiple layers of society. The raid took place on May 12, 2008, at Agriprocessors, Inc., which was then the largest kosher slaughterhouse plant in the country. 389 undocumented workers were arrested, handcuffed, and chained by 900 heavily armed ICE agents.

Agents herded the workers onto prison buses and took them to the National Cattle Congress – a fairground that the government outfitted as a human detention and processing center. There the workers went through a makeshift judicial assembly line designed to convict them of a felony and deport them. In just 4 days, nearly 300 of these workers were fast-tracked through the US legal system, convicted of criminal charges, and sentenced to five months in prison followed by deportation.

The story doesn’t end with the humiliation of the individuals who were arrested. Neither does the documentary. The reality of families were torn apart and a community of great diversity was left in ruins are also explored.

The Second Saturday Documentary Series is co-sponsored by Niles Discovery Church and the San Jose Peace & Justice Center.

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