05 October, 2008

That immigrant raid in Mississippi

Perhaps you heard about that raid on illegal immigrants working for Howard Industries in Laurel, MS. That's about a half-hour drive from where I live. The local parish priest told us a few weeks ago that most of the families were members of our parish who attended an afternoon Spanish-language Mass. (I've seen them. They dress very nicely.) The arrests threw that community into turmoil, and he has asked for material help for the families, as well as prayers.

I suspect that his claim that "most" of the 695 families were members of our parish was a bit of an exaggeration, but in any case he gave us a new update today, asking us at least to pray for the families involved.

Most of the detainees have now been released. Of course, they cannot work, but neither can they leave the country.

I found this news so bizarre that I approached him after Mass to make sure I heard right. He affirmed what he had said: they cannot leave the country before their deportation hearings.

That doesn't make sense to me, but there you have it.

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