Immigration Authorities Arrest Hundreds in Raid on Nation’s Largest Kosher Meat Plant

Union: Arrests 'Fail the Test of Legitimate Law Enforcement'

By Marissa Brostoff

Published May 12, 2008, issue of May 23, 2008.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Federal authorities have raided the country’s largest kosher slaughterhouse in an operation that appears to be aimed at rounding up undocumented immigrants who work at the plant.

Agents with the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement branch arrived at the AgriProcessors meat-processing plant in Postville, Iowa, on the morning of May 12 and began arresting suspects for questioning, according to the agency.

“We can’t speculate on the final number, but it’s expected that 300 have been arrested so far,” said ICE spokesman Richard Rocha.

According to The Des Moines Register, immigration officials said that they expected to make between 600 and 700 arrests. In the past, AgriProcessors has estimated that it employs some 800 people at the plant. Detainees are being held in the nearby town of Waterloo, Iowa.

The United Food and Commercial Workers union has been attempting to organize workers at the plant for several years. “We feel strongly that these kind of overdramatic theatrical raids are done for political purposes and fail the test of legitimate law enforcement,” said union spokeswoman Jill Cashen.

AgriProcessors opened its Postville plant in 1987. Since then, the company has faced accusations that it has mistreated workers and improperly slaughtered animals. In March, the state fined the company $182,000 for health and safety violations.

With reporting from JTA.






Find us on Facebook!
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.