The Des Moines Register

Postville, Iowa - The future of 390 workers, the meat-processing plant that employed them, and this northeast Iowa town?s economy remained in limbo Tuesday, one day after federal agents conducted what they?re now calling the largest raid of its kind in the nation?s history.

Twenty-nine Agriprocessors Inc. workers have been arrested on charges that include aggravated identity theft and the false use of Social Security numbers, federal officials said Tuesday.

Developing: A list of people detained in the raid

Ten of those detainees appeared before a judge for the first time Tuesday afternoon. Shackled at the waist and ankles, they shuffled single-file into a retro ballroom on the grounds of the National Cattle Congress in Waterloo. The men were given special earphones so they could hear the court proceedings being translated into Spanish.

The detainees were transported to Waterloo after Monday?s raid at the Agriprocessors Inc. plant in Postville.

Federal officials said the number of people detained now totals 390, nearly four times as many as the raid on the Swift plant in Marshalltown 18 months ago.

Those arrested Monday include 314 men and 76 women. Fifty-six detainees - mostly women with young children - have been released under the supervision of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. Most were required to wear an electronic monitoring device around one ankle.

Officials with ICE and the U.S. attorney?s office in Cedar Rapids would not say whether others could face criminal charges.

Those not charged are being held under ?administrative arrest? as alleged illegal immigrants. More initial appearances before a magistrate judge are scheduled for today.

Number of detainees surprises mayor

Agriprocessors, the nation?s largest kosher meat-processing plant, has employed 968 workers. Officials have said they believe as many as three-fourths of the workers were using fraudulent Social Security numbers.

Postville Mayor Bob Penrod said that he and others in town suspected there were illegal immigrants working at Agriprocessors, but that ?nobody had any idea it would be that many.?

6 Responses to “10% of Town of 2,273 Arrested in 12 Hours”
  1. Eddie B.No Gravatar says:

    Good start. I bet the roads are safer too.

  2. AngelNo Gravatar says:

    Great job there.


    The whole country needs a sweep.

  3. joNo Gravatar says:

    the border remains open, enough said!

  4. FayeNo Gravatar says:

    Rather than 10% of town headline, how about

    50% of plant workforce guilty of identity theft

    That’s better. More attention-grabbing.

  5. USMCwife says:

    I didn’t realize how long this has been going on, and the sad history of the Postville plant.

    VDARE had a good post with several interesting links to interviews with author Stephen Bloom, well before the current ICE raid.

    The tales of workers not being trained, amputations, etc is just sickening.
    The devastation this wrought on a small midwestern town is appalling.
    The devastation that rampant ID and SS theft is overwhelming.

    I hope that the owners of the meat packing plant are criminally charged.

  6. FayeNo Gravatar says:

    It just got a lot uglier than it already was. Thanks, USMC wife. You always do your research.

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