BEAN STATION, Tenn. (WATE) – One of the largest raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in East Tennessee is now the subject of a documentary.
On April 5, 2018, ICE along with Homeland Security Investigations, the Internal Revenue Service and Tennessee Highway Patrol executed a federal criminal search warrant at the Southeastern Provision meatpacking plant in Bean Station, where 97 people were detained and found to be subject to removal from the country.
Officials saying at the time that large cash withdrawals are what led federal authorities to the Grainger County slaughterhouse.
Since the raid, a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of all the workers who were arrested and detained. The lawsuit alleges ICE agents engaged in racial profiling, illegal searches and arrest.
The documentary, “After the Raid,” examines the “emotional fallout and hard questions” for the churchgoers in the community, and about “what it means to love thy neighbor.”
Thursday evening, Father Steve Pawelk of St. John Paul II Catholic Mission held a watch party.
“My hope is that it creates a human dialogue. That we look at the people who have been affected, and pray, and we view this issue without politics, but how can we be a compassionate nation taking care of our brothers and sisters in need,” Pawelk said.
The documentary’s producer, Rodrigo Reyes, joined in the watch party’s conversation via video conference. He spoke about the potential impact of his work.
“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for people to really visit through the movie and make up their own mind about these issues, and really think about them in a more human way,” he said.
“After the Raid” is streaming now on Netflix.
The owner of the slaughterhouse, James Brantley, was sentenced to 18 months in prison in July 2019 after pleading guilty to tax evasion, wire fraud and employing undocumented immigrants.
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