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  1. #1
    Senior Member zeezil's Avatar
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    IA: Raid charges are warning, expert says

    Raid charges are warning, expert says
    By GRANT SCHULTE • gschulte@dmreg.com • September 11, 2008

    The 9,000-plus criminal charges filed against five managers at Agriprocessors Inc. is likely a record and could act as a warning shot to other meat-processing plants, a national labor law expert said Wednesday.

    The number of child-labor violations filed against the plant's executives is unusual for an industry that tends to show only isolated cases of underage work, Cornell University law professor Lance Compa said.

    "It seems probable to me that this is unprecedented," said Compa, a labor law expert who authored a 2005 report about work conditions in meatpacking plants.


    Underage labor is a persistent problem in the meatpacking industry, but the violations usually are not as widespread as with Agriprocessors, Compa said.

    No hard numbers exist, he said, but anecdotal evidence suggests that most child-labor violations in meatpacking plants are isolated. Compa said high turnover at the plants and the need for cheap labor encourages employers to hire underage workers or look the other way.

    The Iowa attorney general's office on Tuesday charged five managers. The misdemeanor charges were filed against Abraham Aaron Rubashkin, the plant's owner; Sholom Rubashkin, his son; and Elizabeth Billmeyer, the human resources director.

    Two other human resources managers, Laura Althouse and Karina Freund, face those charges in addition to federal felony charges that they helped hire illegal immigrant workers.

    The state and federal charges came as little surprise to residents here, who said they had expected authorities to announce charges against executives at the kosher meatpacking plant.

    Althouse and Billmeyer both had children enrolled in the school district, said the Rev. Steve Brackett, pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Postville.

    "They're normal, everyday residents of the community," Brackett said. "I think there's this notion that they're somehow part of a conspiracy to 'bring all these illegals in.' But I just don't think that's the case."

    Federal agents raided Agriprocessors on May 12 and detained 389 workers in what then was the largest single-site immigration bust in U.S. history. Investigators uncovered more than 96 fraudulent resident alien cards during the operation, including 33 allegedly found on Althouse's desk.

    Most of those cards contained alien registration numbers that belonged to other people, according to federal court records.

    The decision to press 9,311 charges against each defendant is "clearly a tactical move to put the prosecution in a strong position, and maybe to start looking for the outlines of a settlement," Compa said. "It certainly is attention-getting and a dramatic step to press this number of charges."

    Federal agents interviewed Althouse at her Postville home on May 20, according to court documents. Althouse, who handles payroll at the plant, told authorities she believed that several illegal workers were fired on May 10 and rehired because "the company knew that ICE was preparing for a raid somewhere in the state of Iowa."

    Freund, 29, began working at Agriprocessors on March 5, 2007, and worked mostly as a Spanish interpreter for employees, according to employment papers reviewed by federal agents. Two undocumented workers later interviewed by authorities said they had seen Freund working in the human resources department as early as 2006.

    Freund immigrated to the United States legally from Peru in April 2006 and moved that month to Fayette, which is about 30 miles southwest of Postville, court documents show.

    Before the raid, a plant employee distributing checks to the poultry department noticed fewer than usual in the stack. Employees who did not receive checks were called to the human resources office, court documents allege, where they met with Freund and an unidentified employee. They left with their checks and new work papers, according to court documents.

    One illegal immigrant worker told a federal grand jury in July that Freund had said the company "would not be responsible for the workers" if federal agents ever searched the plant.

    Another undocumented immigrant reportedly spoke to Freund about work at Agriprocessors, but was turned away for a lack of papers. The worker returned with fake documents, court papers allege, which Freund turned away. The same worker came back yet again with a second set of papers and was hired, court records allege.

    No one answered the door at Billmeyer's or Althouse's homes in Postville, and neither could be reached by phone.

    Both women grew up in Postville and are well-known to residents, said Kim Deering, the owner of the Wishing Well flower shop downtown. Sometimes, Deering said, Althouse and Billmeyer would help her collect money from workers who had charged for an item in her shop but failed to pay.

    "They're very helpful," Deering said. "They're good people, and good at what they do. They contribute a lot to the community."
    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/p ... /-1/NEWS04
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at http://eepurl.com/cktGTn

  2. #2
    Senior Member vmonkey56's Avatar
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    MORE ICE AND MOVE ON TO THE NEXT EMPLOYER;

    AND STOP LEGAL IMMIGRATION OF I-9'S, GREEN CARDS AND ETC. UNTIL ALL AMERICANS HAVE JOBS?

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Oh we have many illegals! But the new fight which we must fight is legal immigration. Dear Lord Help Us!

    The i-9's and the green cards are killing the jobs totally for Americans.

    Where are the Americans working?

    Hate or Love a country? Is the question?
    http://tinyurl.com/5tv8k4

    BALTIMORE -- A Snow Hill man will spend three years in prision for trying to bribe state and federal officals in a scheme that cluminated in raids on several Lower Shore businesses last fall.

    Javed Iqbal, 40, was also given three years supervised release Tuesday for a racketeering conspiracy related to a scheme to bribe officials with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to illegally obtain green cards and the Maryland Comptroller's Office to receive abatement of state taxes, said officials from the U. S. Attorney for the District of Maryland.

    REMEMBER THIS BECAUSE THIS IS THE LOOPHOLE... ALL FOREIGNERS WANT I-9'S AND GREEN CARDS AND ETC. THEN THE AMERICANS JOBS ARE THEIR'S LEGALLY AND THE BABIES PRODUCED ARE AMERICANS?
    Politics of Illegal Immigration - Census, E-Verify, and I9s: http://tinyurl.com/3ru8w5

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