Immigration raid at Postville plant

As you may know if you’ve been listening to the news this morning, there’s been an immigration raid at the kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa.  Sources tell Radio Iowa there may as many as 700 arrests.

Some of you may have read the book Postville: a Clash of Cultures in Heartland America.  It was written by Stephen G. Bloom, a University of Iowa professor.  I emailed the following message to the professor this morning: I’m sure you’ve been inundated with phone messages this morning, so I opted for an email.  If you would care to comment and give our listeners some perspective, please ring the office (newsroom) number

Bloom sent this via reply to my email:

Golly, gee-whiz. What a surprise!
For years and years, meat-packing plants like Agriprocessors have been hiring thousands of undocumented workers. it’s been one of the worse-kept secrets in the state.  All a prospective employee needed to do was show up at the employment window with a fake Social Security card.  Sometimes, you didn’t even  need that.  Politicians, managers, owners, workers, locals all knew about the scam.  It was the only way the meat-packing industry could operate, since fewer and fewer Iowans want to work for minimum wage doing such back-breaking work with such few benefits…..

The meatpacking industry was a topic during the 1998 and 2006 gubernatorial campaigns.   Here’s a lengthy blog post I wrote in 2006 on developments in the Vilsack/McCormick and Culver/Blouin/Fallon primaries which featured debate of how connected candidates were to meatpackers.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. Brittanicus says

    All law abiding citizens should read this, but not parasite employers
    Read about the successful expedited economic impact of Illegal aliens fleeing Arizona
    Get your pro-illegal immigrant Democrats to sponsor the Federal SAVE ACT (H.R.4088)

  2. Richard W. Crockett says

    An attempt to enshrine racism within the law does not enoble racism: it simply diminishes the law.

  3. Apparently the professor neglected some research points. The starting hourly pay at most of these plants is above minimum wage. The pay rate was higher (adjusted rate) BEFORE they decided to recruit from the undocumented ranks. Plants in Columbus Junction and Ottumwa used to be well paying jobs. There is a pre-cast concrete plant in West Burlington that also had decent paying jobs before a Canadian company bought it from the local owners and got busted for hiring illegals. The professor isn’t as truthful as he should be.

  4. Empty the prisons and jails of all ILLEGAL ALIENS. Deport them all! Then fill the prisons back up with ATTORNEYS,EMPLOYERS,and POLITICIANS who hide,protect,hire,and / or offer sanctuary to ILLEGAL ALIENS!