Largest-Ever Immigration Raid Results in Nearly 400 Arrests, Lawsuit
Almost 400 people were arrested on May 12, 2008, by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at Agriprocessors Inc. in Postville, Iowa. Of the 389 people arrested at the slaughterhouse and meatpacking plant, 297 pleaded guilty and were sentenced on federal felony charges. U.S. Attorney Matt Dummermuth said that, “[b]ased on the number of criminal convictions, this is the largest criminal worksite enforcement operation ever in the United States.”
Among others, 230 defendants were sentenced to five months in prison and three years of supervision for using false identification to obtain employment after admitting to using an actual person’s identity; and 30 defendants were sentenced to five months in prison and three years of supervision for falsely using a social security number or card after admitting to using an actual person’s social security.
A lawsuit was filed on behalf of about 147 of the workers, reportedly accusing the government of arbitrary and indefinite detention and seeking to prevent the government from moving them out of state while their cases are being processed. The ICE-led, multi-agency investigation is ongoing.