LULAC looks to provide legal aid after Mt. Pleasant I.C.E. raid

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Immigration rights groups are saying they want answers after an I.C.E. raid in Mount Pleasant, Iowa on Wednesday. 

Immigration agents raided a precast concrete company.

The Department of Homeland Security said of the 32 arrested, 22 were from the Central American nation of Guatemala. The ten remaining individuals were from Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico.

Officials said the arrests were for administrative immigration violations. 

Immigration groups are responding by providing help to the families of the men arrested.

Iowa’s chapter of LULAC or League of United Latin American Citizens said they’re one of the groups assisting. 

Deputy Director Maria Bribriesco said they’re working to provide legal aid for the 32 detained and get more information on their cases.

Another legal avenue she said they’re exploring is power of attorney of some of the children of the men arrested to deal with guardianship issues.

“What we need to do is have the family pay the bond. If they can pay the bond. They can pay a bond as quickly as possible it will help them, so they’re not deported immediately,” Bribriesco said. 

For the deputy director, she said this raid is disappointing, especially as the state needs labor resources. 

“Latinos, immigrants whether documented or not have helped to revitalize the Iowa small towns, rural Iowa and as you know, Iowa needs labor, they need people to work,” said Bribriesco. 

A vigil was held Thursday night outside of the Henry County, Iowa courthouse to seek the release of the men.

Immigration officials said the men would be held while their cases are processed or pending deportation.

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