After the raid: Some call for immigration reform - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

After the raid: Some call for immigration reform

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DECORAH (KWWL) -- More than 150 people attended a march and prayer vigil in Decorah in a call for immigration form in the United States. The event comes as a response to the May 2008 immigration raid at Agriprocessors in Postville.

The only sound was footsteps during the march. Through silence, those marching in Decorah called for new national policies. The event is part of several national events that were set to coincide with congress' first recess. It's something participants hope will change immigration policies to become more open.

After the march was a more vocal vigil in what organizers say represents a transition from reactionary assistance after the raid to a widespread call for immigration reform.

"We may have come here on different ships, but we're in the same boat now," the group sang along with the Community Choir, in both English and Spanish.

"Iowa needs more people. We need more people. And these folks are wonderful, and just like our ancestors came here when the doors were open wider, we need to open them wide again," vigil coordinator Rev. Mike Blevins.said.

Luis Enrique spoke to the crowd about being detained and then held as a witness. He was arrested during the raid and is now using a work permit while waiting to be a witness in court.

"I'm at a loss. I'm confused. I'm not exactly sure how long i'll be here. I'm here as a material witness, but there's no clarity how long it will be, how long I'll be needed, when I'll be deported. There's no clarity about it right now," Enrique said (through a translator).

Enrique says moving from Mexico, he never imagined he'd end up in jail.

"I'm the kind of person that basically tries to do what is right and follow rules in every way that I can. And I have come to work. I came to do the work that I needed in order to provide for myself and my family," Enrique said (through a translator).

Online Reporter:  Jamie Grey

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