The view from Iowa: where immigrants are at the heart of America's culture war

Somewhere in the confluence of Interstates 80 and 35 near Des Moines, Iowa – our crossroads near the center of the USA – rolls a van full of undocumented Latinos on the promise of a job growing tomatoes or mixing mud for construction.

In O’Neill, Nebraska, and Mount Pleasant, Iowa, scores of Latinos were rounded up by immigration officials and shipped out to points unknown this summer. In O’Neill they were working on a farm growing hydroponic tomatoes. In Mount Pleasant they were netted at a cement factory.

In El Paso, Texas, and nearby Las Cruces, New Mexico, men from Guatemala, or field workers from Mexico are bound in shackles for a plane that will touch them down south of the border to a fate uncertain or worse in a land they knew 10 years ago, if at all.

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Art Cullen