Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Final Totals In: 390 Illegal Aliens Rounded Up In Agriprocessors Plant Raid In Postville, Iowa
A total of 390 illegal immigrants have been detained after a raid on a kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, in what Federal officials, during a second press conference on Tuesday May 13th, 2008 describe as the largest single-site raid of its kind nationwide. Full stories published in the Arizona Republic (which republished a Des Moines Register story) and the Associated Press. Pictured above left, the Jewish owners visit the plant during happier times.
The detainees include 314 men and 76 women, according to figures released Tuesday by federal authorities. The detainees included 290 who claimed to be Guatemalans, 93 Mexicans, three Israelis and four Ukrainians. Fifty-six of the detainees - mostly women with young children - have been released under the supervision of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). It's been described as the largest single-site enforcement operation of its kind in the country's history.
Customs and law enforcement agents worked through the night processing the detainees, said Claude Arnold, the ICE special agent in charge of the operation. Detainees were "administratively arrested" but have not yet been criminally charged, he said. Detainees who are charged with aggravated identity theft, unlawful use of a Social Security number or other offenses will be given lawyers and sent to appearances in one of three makeshift courtrooms at the detainee center in Waterloo, Iowa, Arnold said. But Arnold would not disclose how many people were involved in Monday's effort, citing security concerns. However, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported than over 150 protestors showed up outside the detainee center in Waterloo on Monday night. The protest was peaceful. But not all protestors were supporting the illegals; according to information posted on the Vanguard News Network Forum, 14 pro-white activists showed up to thank the ICE agents and demonstrate in their favor.
U.S. Attorney Matt M. Dummermuth declined to comment about possible charges against managers at Agriprocessors, Inc., the nation's largest kosher meatpacking plant, citing the ongoing investigation. A federal affidavit released Monday detailed several eyewitness accounts of employee abuse, including one floor manager who allegedly struck a worker with a meat hook. Dummermuth also declined to comment about allegations of a meth lab inside the plant and people bringing weapons into the facility.
According to the search warrant application and affidavit dated May 9th, federal officials relied on a variety of sources, including former employees and at least one undercover source who wore a wire and became an employee of the plant at ICE's request. According to the search warrant application, the undercover source said that some employees were paid with cash, and that those workers wore specially colored work hats to denote their status. Other employees were paid with checks that did not bear Agriprocessors' name. Sources in the warrant application also said they saw what appeared to be underage workers at the plant. Twelve juveniles were among the 390 detained.
But as I disclosed in my previous post on this raid, some pro-white activists affiliated with a local Klan organization were also reportedly involved in the takedown. They not only flooded ICE with complaints, but several volunteered to hire on at the plant and report on the activities from the inside.
One detainee agreed to speak to the media on condition she not be identified. She is likely to face charges being in the country illegally and having false identification, and will likely be deported anyway. But she said no one had a clue that the raid was coming, and that she hasn't been mistreated by ICE agents during her detention.
At St. Bridget's Catholic Church in Postville, Iowa, near the plant, tension prevailed as about 400 people waited and watched for the next sign that their lives would again be affected by the raid. Many believe U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are still in town.
A separate Des Moines Register report reveals that one of the top Jewish plant officials, Sholom Rubashkin, is an active Republican campaign contributor. Since 2000, Rubashkin has made $23,750 in federal campaign contributions, according to Federal Election Commission records. That includes $5,750 to the Republican Party of Iowa from 2002 through 2004. Rubashkin also gave $2,000 to Rep. Tom Latham, an Ames Republican, in 2004; $1,500 to candidate William Dix in 2006; $3,000 to candidate Stan Thompson from 2001 through 2004; $2,000 to Sen. Charles Grassley of New Hartford in 2004; and $2,500 to former Rep. Jim Nussle in 2000 and 2002.
Senator Grassley collected another $2,000 each from Abraham Rubashkin, Leah Rubashkin and Ryfka Rubashkin, all of Postville, in August 2004.