Expert say ICE raids impact entire state of Iowa
The Marion Civil Rights Commission called on a local expert to discuss the impacts of past ICE raids statewide.
“There have been raids in Mount Pleasant, Postville and Marshalltown,” Bret Nilles, the Commission Chair, said. “Those areas aren’t far from the Cedar Rapids-Marion area.”
“We think those events are not just legal events, but law-enforcement events that matter for more than just the person getting arrested,” Nicole Novak, an assistant research scientist at the University Iowa College of Public Health, said. “The events also affect the whole community.”
Novak said there are more than a million undocumented immigrants currently going through the legal system, and a number of those cases are in Cedar Rapids. She is studying 6 communities including one in Iowa. Communities, where these raids happen, are causing lower birth rates in immigrant mothers, businesses are closing and the entire economics of a town can change.
“Employers can have trouble also feel the impacts of raids,” Novak said. “One even had to close down in Postville for a short period of time.”
It’s an impact Nilles said people in the state need to learn.
“When raids happen in these communities it’s going to filter throughout the entire state,” Niles said.
Novak said she plans to complete the study by this winter.