The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement detained 390 illegal immigrants May 13, 2008 in the largest single-site immigration raid in US history. The raid took place at Agriprocessors, Inc., the nation’s largest kosher meatpacking plant, located in the tiny town of Postville, Iowa.
Federal officials have declined to comment about possible charges against the owners of Agriprocessors, and jaded Americans can be forgiven for assuming the employer will receive a slap on the wrist, if it receives any penalty at all.
But before you shrug and move on, it’s worth noting that the feds aren’t following the typical routine around the Postville raid. There may yet be some arrests in the offing higher up the ladder, with serious felony charges to follow.
There should be, anyway. The 390 detainees who were working in Agriprocessors’ slaughterhouse are the vanilla surface of a much darker story underneath—a deeply troubling story that demands the owners of Agriprocessors, among others, be prosecuted under the full weight of the law.
If this story doesn’t end with significant prison sentences handed down, there is, as they say, no justice.