No one should be surprised that affidavits from two workers deported after the Postville ICE raid, tell of abuse at the hands of the agents. Two Guatemalans, Marvin Danilo Perez-Gomez and Mardoqueo Valle-Callejas, describe being kept awake for more than 48 hours, shackled, people being humiliated when taken to the bathroom, threats and violence.
From the affidavit of Marvin Danilo Perez-Gomez:
That day they had us suffering hunger. I had started my shift at 4:00am, and they didn’t give me anything to eat until 10:00pm. I felt my head was going to explode. In Waterloo [National Cattle Congress] they kept me sitting down without my sweatshirt and barefoot in the cold from 8:00pm to 2:00am, while they arranged the paperwork. Then they put me in one of the cages where they had the cots for sleeping. But they did not let us sleep at all for 48 hours. They kept coming every so often to run the scanner over the barcode of a bracelet they had put on us. They would come in shouting: “Wake up!” There were also cages with women. Those who asked to go to the bathroom were told not to be such a nuisance, and whenever they were finally taken, it was with four guards or chained, amid mockeries and humiliations. They made us eat and drink in shackles, and you had to lean way over sideways on the chair in order to sip a bit of water from the bottle. Then they would mock us for the way we walked with the chains, and since our clothes were too long on account of our short height, they would tell us “You look like clowns.” I, when they would tell me all of those insults and humiliations, all I could see were the faces of my daughters, and I would cry.
You can read both affidavits (PDF files) here.
These are only two stories from two people out of 94 that were interviewed by Florida International University Professor Erik Camayd-Freixas. More than 300 people were arrested in the raid, all workers, no people in power at the Agriprocessors, Inc., meatpacking plant.
From reading just two affidavits, one gets a tiny sense of the horror experienced by hundreds. Multiply that experience by the number of ICE raids that have happened across the country. The affidavits also reveal the criminality of the businesses, who violated a number of labor laws, not to mention international human rights law, and just basic laws of human decency.