In May, 2008, ICE raided the Agriprocessor´s plant in Postville, IA. At the time, it was the biggest ICE raid in U.S. History. The city of Postville was in an uproar. They did not ask for the raid.
In the early nineties, they rejoiced the arrival of the plant. Their town had no economy, no jobs, no livelihood. Agriprocessors changed that. Not only did the plant bring in new jobs, it brought in new economy, new small businesses, new churches, new neighborhoods, revenue, stores, growth.
After the raid, hundreds of workers were shipped to cattlebarns, then on to prison, detention centers or ankle bracelets. Many sought refuge in local churches. With so many people out of work, the economy nose-dived. Small businesses closed. Churches shriveled. Tax revenues gone.
Agriprocessors tried to replace the workers. The remaining townspeople did not want to do the jobs in the Cattle Barns. Workers were solicited from across the region, as far as southern Texas, the South Pacific and across the world. The townspeople did not like the change in demography of the new and sometimes raucous laborers.
Things have gone from bad to worse for Agriprocessors and for Postville´s economy. This week, Agriprocesser´s owner´s son was arrested for his role in providing false documentation (soliciting, hiring and providing false documentation) primarily to workers from hurricane ravaged, war torn Guatemala.
Now, a major lender has foreclosed on Agriprocessors and its owners, asking that a receiver be appointed to take control of the embattled kosher meat supplier. The action last Thursday by First Bank Business Capital of St. Louis seeks to foreclose on $33.5 million in loans.
Also this week, A staffing firm that provided more than half the work force at Agriprocessors in Postville PULLED OUT, taking with it about 450 employees. Regional Manager Jamie Cord said Friday that Jacobson Staffing has suspended relations this week with the Agriprocessor´s plant in Postville. The company told its 450 workers not to report to their jobs. Cord says that leaves the plant with about 250 workers.
An ICE Raid, a mass deportation of all the workers, caused devastation on this town. It will never be the same again. The Agriprocessors ICE Raid serves as a sterling example of the impact ICE-Suppression raids have on an area´s economy. It proves Mass Deportation does not work. It proves the impact on local economies is horrific. It proves that now, more than ever, our country is in dire need of Comprehensive Immigration Reform!
Lender forecloses on Agriprocessors
Iowa firm pulls 450 workers from slaughterhouse