Thursday, October 30, 2008

Busted! Feds arrest former Agriprocessors manager

Halloween trick? Sholom Rubashkin, former manager of the Agriprocessors plant in Postville IA was in federal court in Cedar Rapids IA yesterday afternoon on criminal charges.

I returned to Iowa in May just in time for the historic ICE Raid on the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Postville IA--the largest ever, at the time. Almost 400 "illegal immigrants" were rounded up, their lives destroyed, their families made destitute. They suffer to this day: in prison or branded with detention bracelets on their ankles--no income, no future.

As the raid played out, it trained a spotlight upon the seamy reality of the Agriprocessors plant whose practices even included child labor. Finally, yesterday, the Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that Rubashkin, 49, was arrested. He faces federal charges of conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens for financial gain, aiding and abetting document fraud and aiding and abetting aggravated identity theft, according to documents filed in the case.

For me, it's a Halloween treat. It's not that I wish him evil. It's not that I want to make anyone suffer. But I so desire to see justice triumph from time to time. And it's time for some higher justice in this case.

Rubashkin was released, after agreeing to surrender his passport and the passport of his wife, to wear a GPS ankle bracelet, restrict his travel to the northern district of Iowa and execute a $1 million bond, $500,000 of which must be secured by Wednesday. [Prosecutor are concerned Rubashkin could be a flight risk. He's rich enough to go a long way away.]

Rubashkin, 49, is the son of the company's president and principal owner, Aaron Rubashkin.
Yes, sometimes the higher ups also fall.

Join the Postville moms, Solomon, and live your life with an ankle bracelet for awhile. You will never suffer as much as the people whose lives you've used and destroyed:
PS: Two notes of thanks: 1) TO MY READERS--thanks for agonizing and outraging along with me throughout the summer as we have decried this nightmare.
2) to the Cedar Rapids Gazette for top photo and story details. Click title for a link there.


thailandchani said...

UGH! Ugh! I can't even begin to imagine the karmic implications of the path he chose, let alone the legal ones. To even look at him makes me sick! Exploitation of other human beings for financial gain?

Oh, UGH!


Ingrid said...

but you now BE? The former and current Republican AND Democratic governments knew all these things were happening. Why now? What did he do to set someone off? Isn't there still so many illegal (immi)migrant abuse going on in Cali where people live in dire situations all the while working the fields? If there was a national and political consensus how to deal with immigration/migrant workers and labour laws and conditions, then I'd say it was a victory. This is almost like arresting one part of the mob while the rest is allowed to continue its thuggery..
you know? Suffering is still not ended..I just wonder why the arrest now..I'm rather suspicious of it..


Border Explorer said...

Oh, Chani, I hope you don't relapse. I should put an "ick" alert at the top of this post! Well, you seem to "get it"--"it" meaning my struggle not to want to wish suffering on any human person. Thanks!

Ingrid--yes, I'm drowning out that little voice inside myself that is saying all the things you just said. I feel like I'm so negative most of the time on this blog. Maybe to counterbalance that, I'm focusing on this little bitty triumph of good over evil. But, who knows, maybe the charges won't stick. Or worse, maybe it was some bizarre revenge sting on this one operation. We don't know the context. Meanwhile the human trafficking and exploitation of immigrants continues unimpeded.

No matter what motivated the arrest, what went down in that plant was evil. Someone on the top needs to answer for that. I'm thinking this arrest is not bad.

P.S. I fully agree on the bipartisan nature of evil. Witness the absence of any discussion of immigration in current presidential campaign.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I'm glad, at least, that they aren't just focusing on the immigrants.

Missy said...

I so desire to see justice triumph from time to time.


I heard this on NPR yesterday and starting cheering and hooting in the car.

(Your work continues...)

susan said...

I'm just wondering if we're not seeing a paradigm shift and can't quite believe our eyes. I wasn't one of the 'hopers' but was planning to vote for Obama anyway. The more I've listened to him these past months the more impressed I've become. This whole thing needs to turn around and he may be the pivot.

Best wishes.

Fran said...

Justice please! Somebody at the company hired non citizen workers & or allowed children to work, and they absolutely hold responsibility.