I visited my parents this weekend in Marshalltown, IA for the Easter holiday. You probably think you’ve never heard of Marshalltown, but it was in the national news in December of 2006 when the Swift meatpacking plant was raided to deport illegal immigrants found working there. Marshalltown used to be a typical example of what pundits like to call “lily-white” Iowa. I heard that phrase so many times around the Iowa caucuses that I thought it was our official state name. But in recent years Marshalltown has attracted large numbers of Mexican immigrants, drawn mostly to work in the meatpacking industry. Some are here legally; some are not. Reliable statistics are hard to find so I prefer not to speculate on how many of these immigrants are here legally. Besides, I’m more interested in how Marshalltown has been affected by this immigrant community.