DES MOINES, Iowa — Fallout from a historic raid on a kosher meatpacking plant in northeast Iowa five years ago continues to shape the nation’s immigration debate, several experts said.Memories and lessons from the May 12, 2008, raid at the Agriprocessors plant in Postville are seen in current federal enforcement strategies as well as the immigration reform debate, they said.”Postville was the turning point in the deportation-only approach to dealing with immigrants here illegally,” said Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., who visited the town after the raid. “The raid and the broad community destruction was a preview of what deporting 11 or 12 million immigrants and their families would look like.” STORY: Big test for immigration billOpened in 1987 by butcher Aaron Rubashkin, Agriprocessors blossomed into the nation’s largest kosher meatpacking plant.Over the years, immigrants from around the globe settled in Postville, which called itself the “Hometown to the World.” The first wave of workers arrived from the former Soviet Union. Next came Mexicans in the 1990s, followed by Guatemalans in the early 2000s.At its peak, Agriprocessors employed nearly 1,000 workers in a town with a population of about 2,200.The 2008 raid has had a lasting effect on immigration enforcement. Federal… Read full this story
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