Documentary post-Postville immigrants

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Director Luis Argueta releases a new documentary centered on the lives of Postville-raid survivors five to 10 years later.

By Salma Rios

salma-rios@uiowa.edu

On Monday in the Main Library Shambaugh Auditorium, director Luis Argueta presented his latest documentary, The U-Turn.

The documentary is the third installment in a series Argueta has produced about the immigration raids in Postville, Iowa. The first installment is called abUSed, and the second installment is called Abrazos (Hugs).

The series focuses on the immigration raids that took place at the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Postville on May 12, 2008. Nearly 400 immigrant workers were arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

The first, abUSed, follows the events of the Postville raid, from the arrests of the immigrants to their trials and their lives after the events of the raid. The second, Abrazos, focuses on a group of U.S. citizen children who travel from Minnesota to Guatemala to meet the long-lost grandparents and relativess they have never met before.

The U-Turn focuses on the lives of the survivors of the Postville raids, some five to 10 years after the raid.

Argueta has spoken to the survivors of the Postville raids many times. In fact, he traveled to Postville 28 times to interview the survivors.

“I hope to help people understand the forces behind immigration and the motive of corporations when they hire undocumented immigrants,” he said. “Not very many people know about what goes on behind immigration forces and the profit motive behind big corporations. They do not understand that this oppression [of people] makes companies a whole lot of money.”

Argueta also hopes to shed light on immigrants and the struggles they face.

“I hope my film will help people come closer to the humans behind immigration,” he said. “I hope that they will leave the screening with open hearts and open minds and will understand the plights of immigrants a little better.”

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