The Star Tribune Reports:
Why the raid occurred - from warrant (pg 3):
The federal raid this spring came about based on information from an informant inside the plant who reported witnessing plant managers hire and help workers with fake identity papers. Up to 76 percent of workers did not have correct Social Security numbers, according to the search warrant. The informant also reported seeing managers abuse workers, including hitting one with a meat hook. One manager also ran a scam in which illegal workers were coerced into buying cars from him, the warrant said. Some female employees also have alleged they were sexually coerced by managers, according to St. Bridget's Sister Mary McCauley.
Abuses Continue (page 2, 5):
. New replacement worker Josephina Ortiz, near tears, telling strangers that she came from California based on promises by Agriprocessors of free rent, food and a good job. Instead, she claims, she found a filthy, expensive apartment and mandatory 14-hour days. "Please God, somebody help us," said Ortiz, who is in the United States legally. "There's something bad in this town. I don't know how this can happen in the United States of America."
. Agriprocessors' new hires, whites and African-Americans, who arrived on the bus. They said they'd been promised a $100 advance, but few of them got it. So their first stop was the food shelf (free food bank).
. Diane Morris, who was living in a Texas homeless shelter, said the company promised a free furnished apartment for a month. Instead, she was put in a four-bedroom house with 10 men, she said. "Everywhere I've been I've been sexually approached," she said. She claims she was fired after two days when she went to the company clinic for medications for a mental illness.
. Some new hires have already caused enough trouble at bars that city officials and police have met with the company to demand better screening.
Why protesters are angry (page 3, 4):
"Workers openly say they were advised by the plant on how to get false documents," he said. "Now if the government does not take action on that and charge the owners, then this was strictly a raid to threaten and terrorize people. The situation at Agriprocessors reveals "a lack of respect of human dignity of people other than you," Ouderkirk said. "Politicians who should have been leading the way did nothing."
After the Raids, Only Positive (page 5):
"I'd say the relationship between Hispanics and people who grew up around here has gotten stronger because of this," he said. "The people who have grown up around here suddenly realized [the workers] were real people, too." The town even put up red ribbons on lampposts in support of plant workers. While he abhors the tactics of immigration officials, Ouderkirk says some good may come of their raid. "They brought out the cracks in the dam and the folly of our immigration policy," he said.