Postville Raid Delayed Because of Politics
Wednesday, August 10, 2011, 1:42 PM EDT – posted on NumbersUSA
Retired federal agent Estela Biesemeyer said that the federal government was ready to deal with illegal hirings at the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa in 2000 before the operation was delayed for fear that it might impact the 2000 presidential elections. The raid eventually took place in 2008 and resulted in the arrest of more than 400 illegal workers.
According to Biesemeyer, vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman was friends with the plant’s owners, and the Clinton Administration pulled the plug on the operation because they feared how it would impact the elections. In the following years, the meatpacking plant was able to hire hundreds of more illegal workers before Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted what would become the largest immigraiton-related raid in U.S. history at the time.
Biesemeyer ran the Des Moines office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service in 2000 and was charged with leading the raid in Postville. She said the plans were made and search warrants were acquired before the Administraiton canceled the raid.
Biesemeyer did not indicate that Sen. Lieberman played a role in cancelling the raid, and a spokesman for the Senator said he did not interfere.
For more information on this story, see the Des Moines Register