Culture, Justice

Agriprocessing gets raided by ICE

Looking down at my “No Person is Illegal” shirt and getting angry and sad. While I’m here, anyone got any news about that Tsedek Hekhsher? Good thing I’m only eating Wise Organic these days:

Postville, Ia. – At least 300 people were arrested today at the Agriprocessors, Inc. meat packing plant, federal officials said. The operation, which targeted people who illegally used other persons Social Security numbers and were in the U.S. illegally, was the largest of its kind in Iowa, Claude Arnold, a special agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Four Homeland Security buses with U.S. Immigration and Customs tags on them were a the plant this morning.


Immigration officials told aides to U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley that they expect 600 to 700 arrests. About 1,000 to 1,050 people work at the plant, according to Iowa Workforce Development.

and snip again

The Agriprocessors plant, known as the nation’s largest kosher slaughterhouse, is northeast Iowa’s largest employer.

Hat tip Des Moines Register. It doesn’t take a slide rule to do the math here. My frustration is that it will be the folks who risked life and limb to support themselves and their families will take the blame, and not the people exploiting the labor. Is it too much to hope for that Jews who are so machmir about some commandments actually check out all of them?
As documented here and elsewhere, these are not Rubashkin’s first problems. And I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of them.

10 thoughts on “Agriprocessing gets raided by ICE

  1. Dang. They are doing hardcore ICE roundups all over the country right now.
    And did you catch these parts of the article?
    1) “”Source 1” told federal agents that some employees were running a methamphetamine lab in the plant, and were bringing weapons to work. The supervisor confronted a higher-level manager about the drugs, and shortly after was fired.”
    2) (About another source) “The source, who was lawfully employed at the plant, told authorities that a floor supervisor duct-taped the eyes of an illegal Guatemalan employee and struck him with a meat hook. The blow caused no serious injuries.
    “Source 7″ asked the Guatemalan to report the incident, but the employee said doing so could jeopardize his job.”
    3) “In another alleged incident, Source 7 said, a floor supervisor identified as a Hasidic Jew pushed another illegal employee because he did not like the way the employee was moving meat.”

  2. Hey Tovah,
    WHOA! I did not! Newer edition of the story up with more numbers and these source stories, which were not in the piece 2 plus hours ago. Thanks for pointing them out. Wow.

  3. Scandal at Agriprocessors?
    The scandal is that they’ll recover and continue operating the same way they always have, always pointing the finger at everyone else.
    Hekhsher Tzedek was started as a reaction to this plant. Let’s hope it gains even more traction

  4. Hey Matt,
    true enough. I’m just wondering if there will ever be a point when they’ll lose their hekhsher for all of this. How many insane things need to happen for folks who call themselves rabbis to say, “okay, maybe you’ve had enough” ?!

  5. Maybe I’m cynical because I’ve been following ‘the Jews of Postville’ for awhile but I can’t see Agriprocessors losing their hekhsher. They can, and do, always find Rabbis who will give them the proverbial rubber stamp.

  6. The plant owner should be punished and the illegal workers deported back to where they came from. That seems to me the best and simplest solution.

  7. One second,
    If “no person is illegal”, than His Royal Highness Maran Rabbi Sholom Rubashkin Lolom Voed shouldn’t be illegeal either?
    Nor the haredim, whom you seem to hate indiscriminately, just for being haredims.

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