Film documents aftermath of massive immigration raid

Filmmakers Greg Brosnan and Jennifer Szymaszek showed their documentary In the Shadow of the Raid, whichchronicles the aftermath of a massive immigration raid, to a rapt audience of Law Center students, faculty and visitors. The film chronicles the round-up of 389 undocumented immigrants at a meatpacking plant in Iowa, which was called “the largest single-site operation of its kind in American history.” Repercussions of the raid were felt on both sides of the border. Many residents of two small villages in Guatemala were dependent on money sent home by family members working at the plant. Families were torn apart as husbands were deported and wives and children were caught betwixt and between: unable to work, and unable to leave the United States. On the American side, the small town of Postville was devastated when its largest employer shut down.  Brosnan and Szymaszek told the gathering they are not lobbyists for immigration reform, but hope their film will foster discussion by showing the human side of the issue as opposed to mere numbers and rhetoric. “We're journalists, not activists,” said Brosnan of himself and his photojournalist fiancee. He said the film has been well received at every showing and, most importantly, it has prompted questions from the audience. The film will be shown again at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 30, in the Honors Commons of the M.D. Anderson Library on the main University of Houston campus. 

Clinical Associate Professor Geoffrey A. Hoffman, left, director of the Law Center’s Immigration Clinic, fields a legal question after the showing of In the Shadow of the Raid. The documentary produced by Greg Brosnan and Jennifer Szymaszek chronicles the aftermath of an immigration raid that affected people on both sides of the border.

Clinical Associate Professor Geoffrey A. Hoffman, left, director of the Law Center’s Immigration Clinic, fields a legal question after the showing of In the Shadow of the Raid. The documentary produced by Greg Brosnan and Jennifer Szymaszek chronicles the aftermath of an immigration raid that affected people on both sides of the border.

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