Virginia Gibbs and Luz Maria Hernandez to present 'Shattered Dreams' at Luther

News in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Linguistics at Luther College

Book provides first-person perspective on Postville ICE Raid

A new book by two former Luther College faculty members details the story of the April 2008 immigration raid of a meat packing plant in Postville, Iowa, from the viewpoint of the undocumented workers. Authors Virginia Gibbs and Luz Maria Hernandez will read from their book, "Shattered Dreams: The Story of a Historic ICE Raid in the Words of the Detainees," at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, in the F.W. Olin Building, Room 102, on the Luther College campus. A reception will follow.

Gibbs and Hernandez will also speak to classes throughout the day and will sign books in the Luther College Book Shop from noon to 2:15 p.m. The reading and book signing are open the public with no charge for admission.

The Postville raid, in which nearly 400 Latino immigrants were arrested, was the largest in United States history. "Shattered Dreams," published in March 2014, gives the testimonials of 10 workers whose lives were devastated by the raid. With special emphasis on women and children, they share stories of their childhoods and tell why they decided to migrate north to find work in the U.S.

According to U.S. Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez, "An earthquake would not have been able to plunge Postville into a greater sense of loss and confusion…. I remember the stories of the parents and the children who could not find each other, a community simply devastated by the raid, and the religious community stepping up to help, provide shelter, and provide information in the vacuum. Postville instantly became iconic in the community for why we need immigration reform and it is still an image that haunts and inspires me. It is a story that must be told and remembered."

Gibb is professor emerita of Spanish and now lives on the Oregon coast. Hernandez is completing a doctorate in Hispanic linguistics at the University of Minnesota.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,500, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the bachelor of arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: