BREAKING: Agriprocessors Raided By US Immigration Police, 700 Estimated Arrested
According to The Des Moines Register, US Immigration officials are currently raiding the nations largest Kosher meat-packaging plant, Agriprocessors Inc., located in Postville, Iowa. Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Monday issued criminal search warrants for aggravated identify theft and fraudulent Social Security numbers.
Agency spokesman Tim Counts told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier that civil search warrants also were issued for illegal immigrants, and agents and medical professionals are evaluating those who have been arrested.
Immigration officials told aides to U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley that they expect 600 to 700 arrests. About 1,000 to 1,500 people work at the plant, according to Iowa Workforce Development.
Earlier this morning, a helicopter hovered over the scene, and a number of agents formed a perimeter around the Agriprocessors facility. Vehicles from ICE and at least eight cars and vans from the Iowa State Patrol were at the plant. There were also reports of two moving vans at the scene, along with an ambulance and two black Chevrolet Suburbans. Additionally, four Homeland Security buses with U.S. Immigration and Customs tags on them have entered the Agriprocessors Inc. complex.
Further details will be posted by YWN as soon as an offical statement is issued.
With a sense of shame I ask, what is a good definition of Chillul HaShem? I can defend Agri against the PETA idiots. I can brush off comments about working conditions. I cannot ignore allegations of facilitating identity theft. One of the APRPEH blog missions is to educate about ID Theft. There are far too many people whose PII (personal identifying information) is being used to facilitate identity theft. I surely hope that Agri can be cleared here, but given the Swift meat raids in 2006, still in the courts, Agri is looking at significant legal bills and possibly jail time for executives or managers.
Not all ID theft is related to new account fraud. Actually according to the FTC (FTC data), only about 20% - 25% of ID Theft is related to fraud one would uncover reading a credit report. Employment fraud is a troublesome sort of ID Theft to clear up. A victim becomes aware of this type of fraud usually by the IRS after receiving a notice of failure to report earnings along with a notice to pay what they owe along with a penalty. I have assisted consumers through this mess of IRS and Tax Payer Advocate contacts a number of times. Consumers can continue year after year having to deal with this problem which often delays refund checks and forces the consumer to spend hours on the telephone talking to the IRS, visiting offices, making copies and mailing off disputes. Usually, the problem is correctable provided a consumer knows what to do or has professional assistance. In terms of Agriprocessors Inc, the least worst scenario is that someone or job company was feeding "pre-screened" employees to them.
The second to worst scenario is that Agriprocessors Inc is providing the IDs to these workers or can be shown to be giving a wink and nod to the practice essentially helping to facilitate fraud. The third worst scenario, (or in combination) is the voluntary giving over of IDs by select consumers for Agriprocessors Inc.'s use. This is pure theorizing on my part only and I have NO inside knowledge as to what is occurring at Agri nor is it intended by me to appear that I do or as Loshon Hara. I am merely sharing my professional experience of cleaning up the mess of employment based ID Theft.
Agriprocessors Inc., if guilty of facilitating ID Theft may be finished, which is shame and definite loss to the kosher consumer.
Des Moines Register story 'largest in Iowa history'