A vigil happened Saturday afternoon, marking the one-year anniversary of a raid at a Grainger County meat-packing plant.
MORRISTOWN, Tenn. (WATE) It happened at the Southeastern Provision meat-packing plant in Bean Station.
ICE detained 97 unauthorized immigrants.
Saturday afternoon, workers, families and community members came together in Morristown. They remembered and recognized the people who got deported and those who are still awaiting their court dates.
The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition hosted the vigil.
“To really be able to remember together what happened last year, to reflect on everything that’s happened since and look forward together to the kind of community we want to build in the year ahead,” said Stephanie Teatro, with TIRRC.
Among the dozens of community members there Saturday afternoon were those offering assistance one year ago.
“This day will forever be etched in my mind and in my heart. It was a crisis. It was like a bomb went off,” said KC Curberson Alvarado with HOLA Lakeway.
Some were also telling their first-hand accounts.
Martha Pulido explaining to us what she experienced, through a translator.
“It was a normal day like any other day, showed up to work. And then all of a sudden I’m shocked about what’s happening at the plant,” she said.
She said she was one of the nearly 100 detained last April.
The year since then she described as complicated.
“It’s not the same because of the fear, the psychological trauma that you’ve endured. That remains,” Pulido said.
She’s still unaware of what her future holds, she says, but those putting on the vigil are spreading a message of what they hope for the days ahead.
“We think it’s important for communities like Morristown who know painfully well how devastating these raids can be to speak up and help make sure that this never happens to another community,” Teatro said.
We’ve asked ICE to talk to us several times over the past year, but it’s not commenting on the raid or the pending litigation.