MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) Agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, conducted a raid at Midwest Precast Concrete that resulted in the arrest of 32 men.
Twenty-two of those men were from Guatemala, seven from Mexico, two from El Salvador and one from Honduras.
The soccer coach of one of the boys who’s father was arrested today told TV9 they both broke down when he called.
"He started crying by the phone," said Mount Pleasant Resident Ronald Carillo. "My impression was it broke my heart and my feelings and I started crying too but I told god to help me be strong for these kids."
"I know a lot of people have different opinions on what immigration should and shouldn’t be but what I can tell you from the personal experience from these families is, no matter you think about undocumented whatever, the system is broken," said Mount Pleasant Co-President Dina Saunders. "It doesn’t matter if you’re Latino or Asian.”
As LULAC or the League of United Latin American Citizens points out, nearly three dozen families now torn apart.
"It's just heartbreaking. You hear babies in the background crying, moms with their tears streaming down their faces and people hugging trying to console each other," said Saunders. "It's incredible. I never thought this day would come in Mount Pleasant."
Their custody removal is still pending proceedings.
The state legal advisor for Lulac said Wednesday's raid will affect Mount Pleasant for quite a while. And he blames the federal government and the president.
"The federal administration which is overseen by the president has basically initiated an attack on small town Iowa and Latinos. That's our position on this. This raid is going to have lasting effects, not just today, tomorrow, but for months and years on this community," said Andrew Bribrisco.
Another small town that knows the effects an ICE raid can have is Postville. Saturday, May 12, marks 10 years since ICE detained more than 300 people who worked at the Agriprocessors meat packing plant.
Wednesday night, the Trinity Cluster Catholic Community, which includes a parish in Postville, released a statement calling for immigration reform:
We stand in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa as law enforcement and agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided the Midwest Precast Concrete facility Wednesday morning. We pray for our brothers and sisters. We cannot continue to experience more raids in the USA. Families are divided and children suffer the trauma of not having their parents with them. Therefore, we continue to have a strong voice to call for immigration reform in the USA.