POSTVILLE, Iowa (AP) — An immigration raid that arrested nearly 400 people in northeastern Iowa scarred a small town and tore families apart, residents said Saturday.

Dozens begged a visiting congressional delegation to do everything in its power to stop federal immigration raids. The May raid in Postville at Agriprocessors, the nation's largest kosher meatpacking plant, by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials was the largest of its kind in U.S. history.

Reps. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., Albio Sires, D-N.J., and Joe Baca, D-Calif., members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, heard three hours of often emotional testimony. Women whose husbands are being detained talked about their longing to be reunited, underage workers detailed deplorable working conditions, and city and religious officials lamented the impact on the community.

Postville Mayor Robert Penrod told the congressmen to take the message back to Washington that immigration raids do not work.