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Busloads of Chicagoans to March in Iowa

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Busloads of Chicagoans plan to rally in Iowa this weekend in support of nearly 400 workers arrested in the largest immigration raid in U.S. history.

Federal authorities rounded up the workers, mostly Guatemalans, in May at a kosher meatpacking plant in the town of Postville. Most face deportation. And most are in jail for using false IDs or Social Security numbers to get their jobs.

A march Sunday in Postville will call for expanding immigrant rights. Organizers include the Chicago-based Jewish Council on Urban Affairs. The council’s Tom Walsh says workplace raids aren’t accomplishing anything.

WALSH: I don’t think it’s making our country safer. I don’t think it’s helping the economy. And it’s just tearing people’s lives apart.

A planned counterprotest will call for tougher enforcement. Chicagoan Brian Jacobsen will cover the events for his blog, Freedom Folks. Jacobsen says he has nothing against the Guatemalans.

JACOBSEN: But every immigrant that comes to this country is an attack on the wages of American workers.

Chicago Congressman Luis Gutiérrez, meanwhile, is leading a group of Latino lawmakers on a fact-finding trip to Postville.

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