abUSed: The Postville Raid

The devastating effects of US immigration enforcement policies on children, families and communities.
Year Released
Film Length(s)
97 mins
Remote video URL


The perversion of the U.S. Constitution, the rule of law, and due process, and the human face of immigration are revealed through the gripping personal stories of the individuals, the families and the town that survived the most brutal, most expensive and largest immigration raid in the history of the United States.


On May 12th, 2008, 389 undocumented workers were arrested, handcuffed and chained by 900 heavily armed ICE agents at Agriprocessors, Inc., the largest kosher slaughterhouse plant in the country. Agents herded the workers onto prison buses and took them to the National Cattle Congress - a fairground that the government outfitted as a human detention and processing center. There the workers went through a makeshift judicial assembly line designed to convict them of a felony and deport them. In just 4 days, nearly 300 of these workers were fast-tracked through the US legal system, convicted of criminal charges and sentenced to five months in prison followed by deportation. Individuals were left humiliated, families were torn apart and a community of great diversity was left in ruins.

Awards and Screenings

Honorable Mention, 14th International Film Festival ICARO, Guatemala, 2012
Best Documentary, Audience Award, 8th Film Festival Cinemassi, Finland, 2012
Second Prize Audience Award, 33th Chicago Latino Film Festival , 2012

Director Commentary

It is my pleasure to welcome you to this special presentation of abUSed: The Postville Raid, a documentary about the effects of U.S. immigration enforcement on immigrant children and families.

Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid at Agriprocessors, Inc. has become my life’s passion. Walking along with the immigrants who survived the Postville raid and the people who came to their assistance, has been a privilege and a transformational experience for me.

Reccently, at a presentation at Iowa State University a student asked me what was my purpose in helps us see immigrants, not as the other but as ourselves; not as a terrible enemy to be feared but as a helpful neighbor to be welcomed. I believe that by looking at the human face of immigration we will be exercising our capacity for compassion and that this, in turn, will give us back our own humanity.

Tributed their funds, time, talents and energy. Without you we would not be here today.

Features and Languages

Film Features

  • Director's Commentary
  • DVD Extras

Promotional Material

Promotional Stills

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