Internet Spreads Teacher’s Account of Postville, Ia., Raid

By Mary Ann Zehr — June 17, 2008 1 min read
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Elise Martins, a teacher from Postville, Iowa, didn’t expect her personal account of the immigration raid in her community on May 12 to spread widely over the Internet, according to ImmigrationProf Blog. But her account is so vivid, and points to what other educators in this country could face during immigration raids in their communities, that I can’t help but spread the account farther.

At the time of the raid, the teacher was with a group of students in the community on a field trip. Here’s an excerpt about the instructions she received on how to proceed:

I am told after a few hours that I can come back [to school] on the school bus, but to expect to be pulled over by the FBI, and I am not to, under any circumstances, let any officer onto the bus. I now have 12 students who are scared as to what will happen, with four students that could possibly be arrested.

Here’s an excerpt from her reflections on what happened at the end of the day of the raid:

I guess, I don't really care how any of you feel about immigration, we all have our opinions. But I will say, that as a human being and as a parent, I find it disturbing to see little elementary kids crying for their parents and asking you to take them home, and all one can say is, I am sorry, or we are looking for them.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.