The Postville, Iowa Agriprocessors immigration raid

In May 2008, [[Immigration and Customs Enforcement]] raided the Agriprocessors kosher meat factory in Postville, Iowa. As with other raids, much gnashing of teeth from the left and/or those who support illegal activity for financial reasons ensued.

However, this time it was a bit muted due to the fact that the owners of the plant - the Rubashkins - don't exactly appear that sympathetic. For instance, they were subsequently charged with 9000 child labor law violations.

Even the most crooked far-leftie is going to have trouble defending that, but that hasn't stopped a few from trying. Note that the only way to have prevented the abuses at Agriprocessors would have been to enforce our laws - labor and immigration - across the board. Anything less would have allowed those abuses to continue. Thus, those who decry those abuses while at the same time not supporting enforcement of our immigration laws are either corrupt or stupid, or both.

Last modified Dec 11, 2008
Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

Agriprocessors manager admits to harboring illegal aliens (Postville, Rubashkins, Iowa) - 08/30/13

From this:

A former Iowa slaughterhouse manager has admitted to conspiring to harbor and recruit immigrants who entered the country illegally and then fleeing to Israel after the plant was raided in 2008, according to a plea agreement filed Thursday.

U.S. bows to United Nations Human Rights Council, ACLU helps (Arizona, SB1070) - 11/05/10

In Geneva today the United Nations Human Rights Council met to assess the U.S.'s record on human rights, or at least human rights as they see them. And, as previously discussed, the report from the U.S. government mentions Arizona's recent SB1070 immigration law. While I downplayed the significance of this in the earlier post, perhaps I should raise the alert level given that one of the groups involved in complaining to the U.N. about the U.S. is the American Civil Liberties Union; more on them below.

From this:

The United States is submitting its human rights record to the scrutiny of other nations - both allies and adversaries - for the first time, as the Obama administration opens itself up to a committee shunned by his predecessor... The 30-strong delegation, headed by three top State Department officials and including representatives from many departments, including Justice, Defense and Homeland Security, arrives in Geneva with a 20-page report compiled with the input of civic and social organizations.

The ACLU's report [1] oddly enough doesn't mention Arizona; the two immigration topics they focus on are Stipulated Removal (specifically mentioning Postville) and the ability of illegal aliens to sue over workplace issues (Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB). To read their summary, they must think they live in Libya rather than what they're actually doing: helping countries like Libya.

Even if their report doesn't mention Arizona, Alessandra Soler Meetze of the Arizona ACLU is in Geneva, and she promises she'll bring up the topic of SB1070 [2]. She's being accompanied by day laborers center operator Salvador Reza [3].

[1] Download it from

Seth Doane /CBS weeps for town built on illegal activity (Postville) - 06/14/09

Seth Doane of CBS News is just the latest "reporter" to go to Postville, Iowa and report on the immigration raid that occurred there over a year ago.

Tim Belay/VOA News presents illegal immigration-supporting side of Postville story - 05/18/09

Tim Belay of the federally-funded Voice of America - offers "Postville Marks Immigration Raid Anniversary with Reflection, Optimism" (link).

Postville commemorates immigration raid one year later, pines for child labor violations, massive illegal activity - 05/12/09

The immigration raid at Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa happened one year ago today, and far-left and just generally corrupt supporters of illegal immigration are commemorating the anniversary, with the media standing by to offer their lopsided take (link):

Church bells tolled for an hour here this morning to mark a year since federal agents launched one of the biggest immigration raids in U.S. history.

The bell at St. Bridget’s Catholic Church rang 389 times, once for each immigrant worker seized in the raid. The ringing started at 10 a.m., which was when the raid began last May 12. Bells from nearby Lutheran and Presbyterian churches clanged in solidarity.

On the outskirts of town, a billboard declares that "ICE raids destroy communities," and invites people to a "freedom rally" this afternoon starting at St. Bridget's...

The Rev. Paul Ouderkirk, a Catholic priest and leading critic of the raid, said organizers expect about 500 people from around Iowa and the Midwest to travel to Postville this afternoon to take part in the rally.

Let's just ignore the fact that building a meat processing plant in an area without a large workforce is a clear signal of the original owner's interest in "attracting workers to the area", i.e. importing cheap and most likely illegal foreign labor. Let's ignore the fact that Postville's recent success was built on massive illegal activity. Let's ignore the fact that Agriprocessors was charged with over 9000 child labor law violations, and true humanitarians like those protesting the raid would have allowed that to continue.

ACLU controlling Obama policy? ("Transition Recommendations" wants most immigration enforcement halted, + much more) - 03/17/09

In November, the American Civil Liberties Union released "Actions For Restoring America: Transition Recommendations for President‐Elect Barack Obama" ( listing things they wanted him to do the first day, within the first 100 days, and within the first year. Several of their proposals would halt immigration enforcement to a great extent, pending "review".

Betsy Rubiner/ Time promotes illegal immigration for Postville (Agriprocessors) - 01/28/09

Betsy Rubiner of Time Magazine offers "Iowa: What Happens When a Town Implodes" (link) about the aftermath of the Postville immigration raid; see the last link first if you aren't familiar with that issue. The article attempts to emotionalize the issue and encourage support for illegal immigration; consider how it ends:

Many townspeople hope a responsible buyer will revive the plant. "We'd like to see somebody who buys it and makes it an honest business," says [Darcy Radloff, the city clerk].

However, everything before that point supported it being run as a dishonest business. Postville was a town built on and profiting from illegal activity and the Agriprocessors plant was allegedly involved in thousands of cases of various types of abuse. For instance, the company was charged with over 9000 child labor law violations. Rather than fighting against such massive corruption and discouraging abuse by discouraging illegal activity, articles like the one by Rubiner seek to paper it over with pleas to emotion. One wonders what other forms of illegal activity Rubiner would seek to paper over, and one wonders how dumb Time thinks their readers are that they can't search on the internet to find all the things Rubiner didn't tell them. Note that this is a second go-round for her; she wrote a similar article in May 2008.

On a sidenote, the copy is peppered with highly off-topic, Iowa-related links right in the copy, such as "See pictures of an Iowa steak fry" and "See pictures of Hillary Clinton campaigning in Iowa with Bill Clinton". Hopefully that will disturb the show Rubiner is putting on for enough people that they'll do a search for the truth.

Pork for Postville: Tom Harkin helped Agriprocessors stay in business - 12/29/08

Four years ago, senator Tom Harkin - Democrat of Iowa - helped get an exemption for the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, without which they might have gone out of business. This year, that company was the subject of a major immigration raid and has subsequently been charged with over 9000 child labor law violations. And, it's not like that was much of a surprise to those in the area.

The money, nearly $8 million, came from an environmental program from which Agriprocessors normally would have been disqualified. The grant and loan were used to build a sewage-treatment plant that serves only the meatpacker.

The environmental program, run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is designed to help small towns improve their sewage systems. The new sewage-treatment plant is technically owned by Postville, but it doesn't serve the town's residents. Department administrators say that fact usually would have prevented it from receiving money from the program. But Harkin, an Iowa Democrat, used his influence to exempt the project from those rules in 2004.

"It was a sleight of hand on this deal," said Jerry Anderson, a Drake University law professor and Agriprocessors critic. "We thought it was a misuse of the law."

Postville: Feds go after Rubashkin trademarks, other property - 12/11/08

Sad, sad news for those who want to profit from illegal activity:
Federal authorities have upped the ante for Agriprocessors and four former members of plant management. Not only will the parties face the penalties originally outlined in a Nov. 21 indictment, but they may have to forfeit a host of items that have been defined as proceeds of criminal activity.

The modified indictment, which was filed today in federal court in Cedar Rapids, specifies that the Agriprocessors, Inc. corporate name, trademarks and corporate stock are subject to forfeiture. The trademarks would include such well-known brands as Iowa Best Beef, Shor Habor, Aaron’s Best and Rubashkin.

Sholom M. Rubashkin, son of company founder A. Aaron Rubashkin and a former chief executive at the Postville plant, remains in federal custody pending trial in this case and others. He is charged with various immigration and bank fraud-related charges.

Brent Beebe, Hosam Amara, and Zeev Levi, all former members of plant management, also face immigration-related charges. Amara and Levi fled the jurisdiction after a May 12 immigration raid at the plant and are currently been sought by Immigration and Customs Enforcement...

Youtube/Pulitzer makes worthless illegal immigration supporting video finalist - 11/19/08

For the backstory, see Shock: Youtube/Pulitzer contest has pro-illegal immigration puff piece as finalist. That same worthless, illegal immigration-supporting video (link) is now one of the five finalists in the Pulitzer competition and is #20 on Youtube's Featured list. Either because of that or because of creative counting, its views have jumped from around 700 a couple days ago to over 60,000 currently.

Agriprocessors charged with over 9000 child labor law violations - 09/09/08

From this:
The Iowa attorney general's office filed child labor charges Tuesday against the owner and managers of the Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking plant, the site of one of the nation's largest workplace immigration raids.

The complaint alleges more than 9,000 violations of Iowa's child labor law at the plant in Postville, saying the violations involved 32 children under age 18, including seven who we

Agriprocessors supervisor pleads guilty - 08/21/08

In May, the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, Iowa was raided by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Now, from this:
A former supervisor at Agriprocessors, the Postville meatpacking plant that was the location of the nation’s largest single-site immigration raid, accepted a deal and pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday afternoon.

Juan Carlos Guerrero-Espinoza, 35, has been convicted of one count of conspiracy to hire illegal aliens and one count of aiding and abetting the hiring of illegal aliens. A date for sentencing has not yet been set.

Court documents filed Aug. 19 indicate that Guerrero-Espinoza "conspired with others, and aided and abetted his employer, in hiring more than 10 individuals" whom he knew to be undocumented and unable to legally work in the U.S. Guerrero-Espinoza was convicted, in part, due to a conversation he had with employees under his supervision on May 7. At that time Guerrero-Espinoza allegedly told workers he knew to be illegal immigrants that they were going to be terminated and then immediately rehired by Agriprocessors.
Two other supervisors haven't been charged yet, and they want their trials moved (link). They also want a different judge, saying:
"this Court's involvement in preparing for the proceedings, coupled with the swift and carefully choreographed nature of the guilty plea hearings, created the appearance that the Court was acting closely in concert with the government."
The ACLU previously tried to make a big deal out of those proceedings having a script. Whether these three or others will be used to somehow implicate higher-ups isn't known.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) calls DHS agents "Gestapo agents" (Gebe Martinez/Politico)
Luis Gutierrez demagogues Agriprocessors raid, accuses DOJ of lying (Joe Baca, Albio Sires, Jens Manuel Krogstad)
1000 protest in Postville in support of immigration-related abuses; a Rubashkin blames enemies
New York Times supports illegal activity, identity theft
Federal, state investigations of Agriprocessors (maybe the left will stop playing games)
Betsy Rubiner/Time offers pro-illegal immigration propaganda (Agriprocessors, Iowa)

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) calls DHS agents "Gestapo agents" (Gebe Martinez/Politico) - 08/07/08

Alleged U.S. Representative Luis Gutierrez - Democrat from Illinois - is quoted in the article "Push needed for immigration reform" (politico . com/news/stories/0808/12321.html) by ethnocentric hack reporter Gebe Martinez as saying:

Luis Gutierrez demagogues Agriprocessors raid, accuses DOJ of lying (Joe Baca, Albio Sires, Jens Manuel Krogstad) - 07/27/08

Jens Manuel Krogstad of the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier offers the inaccurate "Hispanic congressmen gather information in Postville" (link), informing us that Reps. Luis Gutierrez, Joe Baca, and Albio Sires visited that city for a meeting at St.

1000 protest in Postville in support of immigration-related abuses; a Rubashkin blames enemies - 07/27/08

From this:
About a thousand protesters descended on a small town in northeastern Iowa [Postville] on Sunday, decrying the raid of a meatpacking plant [Agriprocessors] that arrested nearly 400 residents and calling for a change in federal immigration policies...

Sunday's protesters a

New York Times supports illegal activity, identity theft - 07/13/08

The New York Times editorial board continues to hit new lows, this time offering "The Shame of Postville, Iowa" (nytimes . com/2008/07/13/opinion/13sun2.html) about the May immigration raid at Agriprocessors meat packing plant in that town.

Federal, state investigations of Agriprocessors (maybe the left will stop playing games) - 07/11/08

Neither Alternet nor New America Media are reputable sources, but, for what it's worth, Wendy Feliz Sefsaf of NAM offers "Meat-Packing Giant Raided by ICE Faces Criminal Investigation" ( Discussing the Agriprocessors raid from May, she says:
No fewer than seven federal and state agencies are coordinating on investigations of Agriprocessors.

The Iowa Division of Labor Services, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Equal Employment and Opportunities Commission (EEOC), the Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Iowa Attorney General's Office are all either conducting or cooperating on investigations into the plant.

Doris Meissner, a former Commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute said, "From everything we hear about this, it sounds like the federal government is marshalling all of the authorities that it has in order to bring the broadest set of charges -- and that's what it should be doing. It's a positive sign that they seem to be working with the state attorney general...

...According to lawyers in the case and agency representatives, there are likely to be civil charges related to immigration, wage enforcement, safety and other labor issues which usually result in fines, however, criminal charges related to immigration, child labor and sexual harassment and assault are far more serious and potentially wide reaching. Anyone with "knowledge or intent" of child laborers for instance is subject to criminal prosecution -- in theory this could include management, human resources representatives and owners alike...
One of the dodges some on the left use to support illegal immigration is to demand that those who employ illegal aliens should be arrested. They want the illegal aliens themselves to stay in the U.S. for various reasons. What they fail to understand (or state) is that by blocking enforcement against illegal aliens that keeps a pool of illegal labor in the U.S., and they'll just go to work for someone else. But, hopefully if Agriprocessors' management is actually prosecuted they'll stop trying that dodge at least temporarily. stages pro-illegal immigration forum (LULAC, Beth Wessel-Kroeschell) - 06/05/08 staged an immigration forum earlier today, and these were the five panelists (link):

1. Brent Wilkes of the League of United Latin American Citizens
2. Iowa State Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, D-Ames
3. James Benzoni, Des Moines immigration lawyer and Drake University professor
4. David Roederer, executive director of the Iowa Chamber Alliance

Betsy Rubiner/Time offers pro-illegal immigration propaganda (Agriprocessors, Iowa) - 05/29/08

Betsy Rubiner of Time Magazine [1] offers a slab of pro-illegal immigration propaganda called "After Immigrant Raid, Iowans Ask Why" (link). The raid in question occured at the Agriprocessors plant in Postville earlier this month, and her article could have been written by that company or anyone else who supports profiting from illegal immigration. The only mention of those who support our laws is in a highly negative light. The reader who thinks she's in any way a credible source of information should research the raid using the last link, then compare it to her article.

It starts with this:

In this small northeastern Iowan town surrounded by newly planted cornfields, a middle-aged white woman walks into the local Guatemalan restaurant with her arm around a Hispanic child who is sobbing because she can't find her mother. After conferring with a restaurant worker, the woman takes the child nearby to St. Bridget's, a small 1970's-era brick Catholic church on a quiet tree-lined street that has become command central for what people in this community of 2,273 describe as a "disaster relief response."

Then, it continues on like that, continuing to try to pull the readers' heartstrings in order to convince them to support illegal activity. Those who support our laws are smeared:

Anti-immigrant sentiment and ethnic tensions are not unknown in this unusually diverse Iowa small town, whose residents include descendants of German and Norwegian Lutherans and Irish Catholics as well as more recent arrivals — Latin Americans, Ukrainians and Hasidic Jews drawn here by the plant. A few angry people have called the church, complaining about its care of "criminals." But volunteers like Ardie Kuhse, 60, shrug this off. "Yes, they were illegal. But they were working. Is that a crime? They're a part of our community," says Kuhse, near tears as she recalls trying to calm children after the raid.

Obviously, it is a crime, but don't expect a hack like Rubiner to point that out to her. The last paragraph gives us their demands:

Braced for months of waiting and uncertainty, many Postville residents are certain about one thing: "We have to have comprehensive immigration reform so these people who desire to work can. We have to have a way to welcome them," says Sister McCauley. "When people are so hurt, we have to take a look at the law."

"Reform" is, of course, a code phrase for amnesty.

[1] From a bio for her book "Fun with the Family in Iowa: Hundreds of Ideas for Day Trips with the Kids":

Betsy Rubiner has written for "Parenting, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Better Homes & Gardens," "Time," and other publications. As a newspaper reporter, she launched children's beats, most recently in the" Des Moines Register. "She is a mother of two and has lived in Des Moines since 1990.

Agriprocessors meat packing raid, Postville, Iowa (kosher, UFCW) - 05/12/08

Somewhere from a few hundred to 700 or more persons were arrested in Postville, Iowa earlier today as part of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid of the Agriprocessors meat packing plant in the town. That plant produces kosher meat and is owned by the Rubashkin family, Hasidic Jews from New York; this page has more details on the culture clash after the bought the plant and seem to have gained a great deal of power in the town.