Tuesday, May 13, 2008


A kosher kitchen and a treyf front office

Hundreds Are Arrested in U.S. Sweep of Meat Plant[1]:

In the biggest workplace immigration raid this year, federal agents swept into a kosher meat plant on Monday in Postville, Iowa, and arrested more than 300 workers.

The authorities said the workers were suspected of being in the United States illegally or of having participated in identity theft and the fraudulent use of Social Security numbers.

A spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement would not say how many people had been rounded up beyond the initial 300 or whether the management and owners of the plant, AgriProcessors, would face criminal charges.

The plant has 800 to 900 people and is the country’s largest producer of meat that is glatt kosher, widely regarded as the highest standard of cleanliness.

The raid had, the article says, been planned for months. Not surprisingly, for an area in rural Iowa for which the business in question is undoubtedly the main employer, the arrests and closure of the plant are “absolutely devastating to the local economy.”

The affidavit said a former plant supervisor had told investigators that a methamphetamine laboratory had operated at the plant and that some employees had carried weapons to the plant. The former supervisor, the affidavit said, estimated that 80 percent of the employees were in the United States illegally.

With the plant closed, the country’s kosher meat supply will be cut by around half, so I’d guess we’ll soon see more vegetarian meals in kosher homes until this is sorted out.

The article doesn’t say what countries the illegal immigrants are from.

In any case, someone in management is clearly not keeping kosher.

[1] Just a word-related note: I like the concept of a “meat plant”, don’t you?

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