Friday, May 16, 2008

UPDATE: ICE Immigration Raid in Northeast Iowa

Israelis and Ukrainians among the detainees in Northeast Iowa:

On May 12, 2008 the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) executed two search warrants at the Agriprocessors, Inc. plant in Postville, Iowa. The search warrants were for evidence of aggravated identity theft, fraudulent use of Social Security numbers, people illegally in the United States and other crimes. 390 people were detained. Of the original 390 detainees 314 were males and 76 were female. 12 of the detainees were juveniles. 290 are Guatemalans, 93 are Mexicans and the rest are Israelis and Ukrainians.

56 of the detainees were under supervised release. They were released for humanitarian reasons. (women with kids and the father was also detained, juveniles, etc.) The rest were transported to the National Cattle Congress Fairgrounds in Waterloo, Iowa for processing and their initial appearance in U.S. District Court.
In a press release May 13th the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa Matt M. Dummermuth said, "Based on the number of those administratively arrested, this is the largest single-site enforcement operation of its kind ever in the United States."

Further information can be found here.

ICE leased almost the entire fair grounds from the beginning of May until May 25th under the premise that they were going to conduct training exercises. In preparation for the detainees they turned the main auditorium into a processing center, Estell exhibit hall into a detention center including portable heating and air conditioning, toilets and showers. The female detainees are reported to be being held at the Black Hawk County Jail in Waterloo and other local jails. The U.S. District Court temporarily relocated some of its judges and personnel from the federal courthouses in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Sioux City, Iowa to a make-shift courtroom in the Electric Park Ballroom on the National Cattle Congress grounds.

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