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Postville: The Effects of an Immigration Raid

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Many unauthorized immigrants regularly enter the United States in search of employment. A substantial number of these individuals come from impoverished countries and look to the United States as a path toward prosperity. Unfortunately, many unauthorized immigrant workers suffer exploitation from their employers and are at risk of becoming victims of worksite raids. This exploratory study examines the effects of a raid of an unauthorized immigrant worksite in Postville, Iowa. Interviews with key informants provide an inside perspective of the effects of the raid on children, adults, and the community. Participants offered suggestions on how to improve current policies that may violate immigrants' human rights. The results advance the knowledge base for social work in provision of services and advocacy for immigrant populations.