Details are now emerging about the search warrant on the AgriProcessors, Inc and it shows a definite pattern of KNOWINGLY hiring and taking in illegal aliens by the Hasidic Jewish owners and managers of this plant. Turns out, the taking over of this plant by Hasidic Jews, resulted in the invasion of the little town of Postville with non-assimilating Hasidic Jews and their illegal alien SLAVES. In fact, there was a book written about the struggles between the original residents of Postville and the new invaders who rescued the town by taking over the meat processing plant. I suppose the long term cost of doing this was never considered.
Anyway I digress, here are some interesting details about the search warrant on the Postville, IA KOSHER meat packing plant from GazetteOnline.com:
“Over at least the last two years, (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has received information concerning immigration offenses at and by employees of Agriprocessors, including allegations of harboring illegal aliens… engaging in a pattern or practice of hiring and continuing to employ undocumented aliens… document fraud… misuse of Social Security numbers… and aggravated identity theft. This affidavit sets forth some, but not all, of the information ICE and other law enforcement officers possess concerning potential violations of the above-referenced statutes and potentially other criminal laws, but rather, is a summary of evidence in ICE’s possession sufficient to establish probable cause to support this search warrant.
“This criminal search warrant is sought simultaneously… in connection with the issuance of 697 criminal complaints and arrest warrants against persons believed to be current employees of Agriprocessors… Of the approximately 697 charged by complaint, the government currently possesses copies of photo identification for only about 15 individuals.
“There is reason to believe there will be other employees present at Agriprocessors facility whose lawful authority to reside and work in the United States is unknown. Accordingly, in conjunction with the execution of this criminal search warrant, ICE intends to question any alien or person found on the Agriprocessors property believed to be an alien as to his or her right to be or remain in the United States, for purposes of determining whether the alien should be administratively processed for removal.
The following is an abbreviated version of the testimony of 15 former and current employees of the facility included in the search warrant. The sources identities have been withheld in the search warrant:
— Source #1 was a supervisor at the plant between 2005 and 2006. That person supervised citizens of Mexico, Guatemala and Eastern Europe, and estimated that 80 percent of these employees were illegally present in the United States. There was an incident at Agriprocessors where Source #1 discovered active methamphetamine production in the plant. The source partially destroyed the lab, which led to a physical confrontation with the source’s immediate supervisor. Source #1 said he or she believes the incident led to their termination. There were also incidents of weapons being carried in Agriprocessors. Source #1 described a conversation with the Agriprocessors Human Resources Manager concerning three Social Security cards from three employees that all contained the same Social Security number, and that the Human Resources Manager laughed when it was brought to her attention. The source also described another conversation with the Human Resources Manager regarding Agriprocessors’ employees’ taxes and the fact that they were deducted and deposited in bank accounts belonging to an unknown person or people.
— Sources #2, #3 and #4 were arrested after an Aug. 30, 2007, altercation in Postville. All said they were foreign nationals illegally present in the United States, and that they were former Agriprocessors employees. They said they presented fraudulent Social Security cards and Permanent Resident Alien cards to gain employment there. Some of their Employment Eligibility Verification Forms were not properly certified.
— Source #6 was remanded to ICE custody from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office after he or she was arrested for drunken driving. The source said he or she was employed as an undocumented worker on one of Agriprocessors’ farms between 2004 and 2006. A fraudulent Social Security card and Permanent Resident Alien card were presented to gain employment there.
— Source #7, a legal Hispanic immigrant, was paid by ICE to look for a job at the plant early this year while pretending to be an illegal immigrant. All of the source’s conversations with human resources staff, supervisors and other employees were recorded during the employment process. The first time the source was told that the Social Security number ICE provided for him or her to use did not match his or her name. The next week, the source was provided a different Social Security number to use with the same name and was hired. Source #7 discovered other employees were being paid in cash or with different colored checks than the ones he or she received, possibly by an elementary school worker in Postville identified as the point of contact on letters to Agriprocessors employees noting “misunderstandings” with the employees’ Social Security numbers. The source’s rent also kept being increased by his or her landlord, and was told by other Hispanics that happened to other workers, as well.
In February, Source #7 told ICE agents he or she observed a Jewish floor supervisor duct-tape the eyes of an undocumented Guatemalan worker shut and hit the Guatemalan with a meat hook, apparently not causing serious injuries. The Guatemalan did not want to report the incident because “it would not do any good and could jeopardize his job.” The company fired illegal immigrants on occasion with no explanation.
— On May 4, 2006, sources #8, #9 and #10 were arrested in connection with an investigation of the production of a potential explosive device found in a vehicle registered to a resident of Postville. The materials likely came from the Agriprocessors mechanical shop. Two sources had obtained employment there with fraudulent documents they had purchased, and all were illegal immigrants.
— An Iowa Department of Transportation investigator learned from talking with Des Moines County Treasurer’s Office personnel that Source #14 was involved in making applications to title and register cars on behalf of people living in Postville. The source said that, more than 200 times, he or she received application information and money and had the registrations and titles sent to various Burlington/West Burlington addresses. Source #14 then arranged to pick up the documents and sent them to the vehicle owners in Postville.
Other facts found in the search warrant:
— Agriprocessors was notified of more than 1,000 discrepancies between names and Social Security numbers on workers’ W-2 forms sent to the IRS between 2002 and 2005.
— In 2005, the Iowa DOT audited a Cedar Rapids car dealership that was selling a number of vehicles to an Agriprocessors supervisor. The manager of the unnamed dealership said the supervisor was a “personal friend of theirs,” and that they supplied a large volume of cars to the supervisor for resale to people in the Postville area. That year, more than 50 vehicles were sold in that manner. Sales to Postville residents appeared to represent about 90 percent of the dealership’s business. The sales violated Iowa law, which requires all dealers to be licensed.
Employees said that supervisor coerced them and others into to buy vehicles from him or they would be fired or not promoted.
And now to the book about Postville which I discovered. The title is Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America.
Interesting investigation into the clash which resulted from the arrival of 150 Hasidic Jews and their “immigrant” workers (aka illegals). Postville Iowa is a VERY small midwestern town. I am talking only about 2000 people in this town. Now we have about 30-40 % of the town are outsiders - either Hasidic Jews who do not even shop in the local stores or eat in the local restaurants - or they are Spanish speaking Mexicans or Latin Americans who also do not really frequent the local establishments - well except for the Walmart that is.
Here is one of the reviews of this book which sums it up quite well:
From Publishers Weekly
Bloom’s account of a vicious clash between the residents of a small, intensely Christian town and the group of Lubavitcher Jews who open a highly successful kosher slaughterhouse there is a model of sociological reportage and personal journalism. In 1987, after a Hasidic butcher from Brooklyn bought a slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa, and began to relocate Jewish and immigrant workers to the area, the town began to change. While some residents were suspicious and anti-Semitic, most were happy to see the town rise above its previous financial destitution. But the Lubavitchers, who traditionally live and work within their own closely knit communities, were not interested in fitting into Postville, and many were dismissive of, or overtly hostile to, its original citizens. After the Lubavitchers started buying real estate and exerting greater influence on the town’s finances, longtime Postville residents began to feel marginalized, yet their reactions caused the Jews to become more isolationist. The slaughterhouse also caused problems: workers were paid below minimum wage and were uninsured, women workers were sexually harassed and fighting among the (often illegal) immigrant workers escalated. Finally, the town took legal action to gain more control over the slaughterhouse. Bloom, a professor at the University of Iowa, writes cleanly and with great insight and temperance about these events. As a secular Jew, he also weaves in his own story as he tries to find some common ground with the Lubavitchers. His book proves an illuminating meditation on contemporary U.S. culture and what it means to be an American.
I also found this review of the Postville book from Newsday in the year 2000:
POSTVILLE: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America, by Stephen G. Bloom. Harcourt, 338 pp., $ 25.
Newsday, November 5, 2000
STEVE BLOOM gets his first glimpse of the Hasidic Jews of Postville, Iowa, on a Friday evening. He drives to this rural town of 1,500 souls from his home in Iowa City and parks across the street from the synagogue. Instead of introducing himself as a Jewish visitor away from home on the Sabbath, Bloom observes the Lubavitch men from afar. As they erupt into exuberant song, Bloom leans on his car and munches on a sandwich, a salami-and-cheese on white.
Postville was a withering hamlet surrounded by failing family farms in 1986 when Aaron Rubashkin of Brooklyn bought a defunct slaughterhouse on the outskirts of town. The Hasidim bought homes, and they banked and shopped on Main Street, but in other ways they behaved as if they had no neighbors, ignoring sidewalk greetings from non-Jews and shunning local schools. By the time Bloom arrives in Postville, the Rubashkins’s factory is grossing $ 100 million a year and the Iowans have traded in the welcome wagon for a pickup truck full of resentment.
In “Postville,” Bloom, a journalism professor at the University of Iowa, explores the tensions between the Hasidic newcomers and the largely Lutheran old guard, whose families emigrated to northwest Iowa from Germany generations earlier. Locals, who, Bloom says, “by and large, were tolerant,” complain that the Postville Hasidim are secretive, wealthy, ostentatious, deceitful, chauvinistic, unassimilable and disrespectful of local customs. “The complaint I hear most is that they need to live by the same rules as all of us,” says city councilman Leigh Rekow. “It’s not such a great religion if they don’t want to be part of the community.”
The gentiles’ gripes echo anti-Semitic calumnies that predate Iowa, but as Bloom talks to dozens of Postville residents, he finds that many complaints have a basis in reality. The Hasidim don’t say hello to Christians on the street. They don’t attend the annual street fair, and they don’t maintain their lawns. The owner of a shoe store, who at first prospered due to large Hasidic families, extended credit to her Hasidic customers, and they never settled their accounts.
One Hasidic man admits this is just how he does business, telling Bloom about a shipment of computers he bought on credit. Let the vendor sue, says Lazar Kamzoil: “We’ll pay him-eventually-but on our terms, not his.” Kamzoil adds that bargaining is “part of being a Jew” and that Hasidim never had any interest in mingling with the goyim. “It’s the place and the people who have to adapt to us,” he says.
Kamzoil reveals himself while playing host to Bloom and his young son for the weekend. The reporter had a much harder time penetrating Hasidic society than he expected (on the other hand, the longtime Iowans were relatively open with him), and Bloom’s easiest point of entry was to let the Lubavitchers, known for urging assimilated Jews to become more observant, proselytize to him. One of the Rubashkins gets Bloom to strap on phylacteries, and Kamzoil makes sure Bloom participates in a Saturday service. Once the Hasidim figure out that Bloom is only playing along, however, they treat him like a pork-eater.
“Postville” is told in the first person, and the “clash of cultures” mentioned in the subtitle refers not only to the divide between Christian Postville and the Hasidic outpost, but also to Bloom’s relationship to each. A New Jersey-bred, Berkeley-educated reporter who moved to Iowa from San Francisco, Bloom is a creature of the speedy, modern life of the coasts, and his Jewishness manifests itself mostly as a longing for pastrami and a revulsion at the mention of Jesus during Cub Scout meetings. He feels himself as much a fish out of water in Iowa as he imagines the Lubavitchers would be. In fact, they have brought their way of life with them, whereas Bloom feels somewhat rootless.
Bloom writes about his own struggles, at times affectingly. He also shows himself to be a valiant reporter. He is at his impersonal best in a long tangent about a pair of disgruntled Hasidim who go on a crime spree through the Iowa countryside; one, a convert, is severely punished, and the other, from a renowned rabbinic lineage, gets a slap on the wrist.
One area Bloom did not master, however, is Judaism, particularly in his mistaking the whole-hog observance of the Hasidim for complete authenticity. He brings his son to the Kamzoils’ so Mikey can have a “thoroughly Jewish experience,” as though it were impossible to have one at home.
The reporter in Bloom does not judge the Rubashkins for hiring illegal immigrants and flouting labor regulations, much as he bends over backward not to accuse the Postville Christians of anti-Semitism. However, by the end of the book Bloom, whose sense of kinship with the Hasidim brought him to Postville, feels as stung as the Iowans did, and he himself describes the Hasidim of Postville as secretive, chauvinistic and deceitful.
Bloom makes a convincing case that they are, but unfortunately he extrapolates from his experiences to make unsupportable broad generalizations, much as the Iowans do. Bargaining is not “an undeniable part of Bloom’s own culture” just because the Iowans and Kamzoil both say so, and if it is, so is a respect for workers’ rights, which was championed by the secular Jewish labor movement.
Early on, Bloom makes the claim that Postville “seemed like a social laboratory, perhaps even a metaphor for America.” Perhaps, but a more fitting parallel might be Central Europe, where a changing economy brought religious Jews from the east into German Protestant cities and towns. One hopes the Postville experiment goes better.
So now that this raid has happened, it will be interesting to see if the Hasidic Jews take their illegal alien running business to yet another small town and change it forever or if they will clean up their act and stay in Postville. If they pull out of Postville, there will be people who will chastise the ICE raid for ruining the economy of Postville because following the law was SO inconvenient to AgriProcessors, Inc so they folded up their plant and went elsewhere.. perhaps to a place that does not enforce immigration laws.