ICE Raid in Postville, Iowa Today

It’s still in progress at the Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking plant. ICE says is investigating aggravated identity theft and fraudulent use of Social Security numbers, among other crimes.

600 to 700 arrests are expected, although no one’s been bused away yet. Workers and their lawyers were tipped off to the impending raid (though not necessarily the targeted workplace) when ICE rented a nearby fairgrounds last week. It did the same thing in December 2006 before the Swift plant raids.

DHS seems to be learning from the most common objections to those early raids:

Larson [a driver for the meatpacking plant] said the agents told workers to stay in place then separated them by asking those with identification to stand to the right and those with other papers, to stand to the left.“There was plenty of hollering,” Larson said. “You couldn’t go anywhere.”
When asked who was separated, Larson said those standing in the group with other papers were all Hispanic.

ICE spokesman Harold Ort in Postville did not confirm or deny that anyone had been detained, but went on to say that the children of those detained would be cared for and that “their caregiver situation will be addressed.”

“They were asked multiple times if they have any sole-caregiver issues or any childcare issues,” Ort said.

In 2006 and 2007, ICE was criticized for targeting Latinos specifically (rather than seeking identification from everyone in the plant) and for being unresponsive to child-care and medical issues.

UPDATE: See my Postville Raid Round-Up for more up to date information and links.

~ by Gabriel Malor on May 12, 2008.

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