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Immigration and Bankruptcy - History

Immigration and Bankruptcy - History

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"The Congress "The Congress shall have power.. to establish a uniform rule of naturlaization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcy throughout the United States."


This clause gives the Congress the responsibilty both to set the terms under which immigrants can become citizens; and to pass a set of laws, that will apply throughout the United States, to establish under what terms and individual or corporation may discharge his or her debts. It is interesting to note that the framers considered bankruptcy important enough to include in the Constitution.

Immigration and Bankruptcy - History

This is black history month. It is also the month that the Emergency Manager who took political power and control from the mostly African American residents of Detroit has presented his plan to bring the city out of the bankruptcy he steered it into. This is black history in the making, and I hope the nation will pay attention to who wins and who loses from the Emergency Manager’s plan.

Black people are by far the largest racial or ethnic population in Detroit, which has the highest percentage of black residents of any American city with a population over 100,000. Eighty-three percent of the city’s 701,000 residents are black. It continues to be an underreported story that a white state legislature and white governor took over the city and forced it to file for bankruptcy against the will of its elected representatives. It is also underreported that white governors and the white state legislature failed to provide Detroit with its fair share of state tax revenues – a significant contributor to the city’s current financial distress.

Detroit’s bankruptcy plan calls for the near-elimination of the retiree health benefits that city workers earned over the years, as well as drastic cuts in the pensions that retired and current workers have earned and counted on. It is telling, I think, that for the first time since the Michigan constitution was adopted 50 years ago, the governor chose in this case to ignore the Michigan constitution’s guarantee that public employee pension benefits will be paid in full, given that Detroit’s public workforce is majority black and represented by unions that opposed the governor’s election.

It’s important to view what is happening to Detroit and its public employees through a racial lens. The fact that nearly 1.5 million whites left Detroit over the last half century as its African American population grew is the single biggest reason for its current distress. As the wealthier white population left Detroit, the overall population shrank and the city’s tax base shrank, too, leaving Detroit less able to support public schools, public safety, and its huge, geographically spread-out infrastructure. Corrupt mayors or antagonistic mayors are a sideshow compared to the gigantic outmigration of whites that began in the 1950’s and turned Detroit from a wealthy white city into a desperately poor black city.

Whether as cause or effect, the other key factor was the outmigration of manufacturing jobs, a process that began in the late 1940’s as the auto industry disinvested in Detroit in favor of the surrounding suburbs. The Big 3 later stopped investing in Michigan, leaving devastated cities like Flint and Pontiac in favor of the West, the South, Canada, Mexico and, eventually, Asia. But when the auto industry began abandoning Detroit, it had nothing to do with unions. The UAW organized every Big Three auto plant in the U.S. no matter where they were located, so people like Sen. Bob Corker, and columnists George Will, and Robert Samuelson display deep ignorance when they blame the UAW for Detroit’s woes. No American union gets to decide where Big Capital invests.

White Detroiters followed the auto industry out of the city because the good jobs moved there, because land was plentiful in the suburbs, housing and schools were newly built, and because they wanted to get away from their black neighbors and buy homes in the racially segregated suburbs. When overcrowding and an immigration of blacks threatened the racial segregation of Detroit’s neighborhoods, whites picked up and left.

Government was deeply involved in the racial segregation of the Detroit metropolitan area, as it was in the nation. As early as the 1930’s, the Federal Housing Administration’s underwriting manual instructed mortgage lenders to respect racial covenants, and the Federal Home Loan Bank Board sponsored the development of residential security maps that made most minority neighborhoods off-limits for lending. After World War II, when the G.I. Bill gave subsidized mortgages to millions of veterans, the government’s mortgage lending restrictions effectively excluded blacks. The new homes in the white suburban communities around Detroit were built with G.I. bill money that was denied to most blacks.

Government was involved at a more micro level as well. I grew up in all-white Grosse Pointe, one block from the Detroit city limit. The “Pointe system,” which awarded points that individuals needed to qualify as buyers based on their race and religion, was enforced by realtors and civic associations, by violence and threats of violence, and by legal covenants against selling to a non-white. The Pointe system kept black people from purchasing homes in any of the five Grosse Pointe municipalities during most of the 20 th century. Other suburban communities, including Dearborn, the home of the Ford Motor Co., were populated along racial lines and maintained their racial segregation through notorious whites-only policies, the use of racial covenants, mob violence ignored by the police, and even the participation of the police and fire departments in harassing anyone who tried to break the color line.

There had been racial tension and confrontations in Detroit since the 1920’s, when the Ku Klux Klan had a powerful presence and “flying squads” of white thugs attacked African American families whenever they bought homes in solidly white neighborhoods. Kevin Boyle’s The Arc of Justice brilliantly describes this period and its violent, tragic racism.

The first great race riot in Detroit occurred in June 1943, leading to the deaths of 34 people, injuries to more than 400 others, and a military occupation to restore order. An influx of black workers from the South into a city with a desperate housing shortage led to friction with white residents and tensions in the workplace. When blacks were allowed to work alongside whites in a Packard defense plant, 25,000 walked off the job in protest. And when blacks tried to move into newly built housing projects, white mobs burned crosses and formed picket lines to keep them out. The riot lasted three days and ended only after 1800 arrests and the arrival of federal troops with armored cars and automatic weapons.[i]

The racism of the 1920’s and 1940’s never abated, and when blacks continued to move to Detroit in large numbers after the war, the white population refused to accept them. In 1940, the city’s black population was 150,000, but by 1960 it had more than tripled, to 480,000. Meanwhile, the white population fell by 290,000, and by another 344,000 in the following decade.

The race riots of 1967 came in the midst of this white outmigration and gave it further impetus. The 1967 riots were even more violent and destructive than the 1943 riot, with 43 people killed and massive amounts of looting and arson. Once again, federal troops had to be called in to restore order.

Since the ’67 riots, white flight from the city has been almost total. The 1970 census showed 838,877 white residents of Detroit. By 2010, only 75,758 remained.

Can I file for Bankruptcy if I’m NOT a United States Citizen?

Yes. It’s possible to file for bankruptcy if you’re not a U.S. citizen or don’t have a visa or a green card. However, what you DO need to have is an ITIN or a social security number.

What is an ITIN, you ask? It stands for: Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. It’s a number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for tax purposes.

People without social security numbers get issued an ITIN. Getting issued an ITIN does not indicate immigration status. For example, you can be an undocumented immigrant and get issued an ITIN to comply with U.S. tax laws.

Bureau of the Census Record Group 29

The holdings of each Regional Archives include microfilm copies of the U.S. population census for all States from 1790 through 1920. The censuses provide information about residents of organized Chinese communities in the United States as well as Chinese individuals and families living outside these communities. Indexes are available for most census records. Soundex indexes, based on the way a name sounds rather than its spelling, exist for the 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920 censuses.

Who Does What in U.S. Immigration

The United States has a long history of regulating and managing immigration, dating back to the 1860s. The U.S. Congress — the legislative branch of the federal government of the United States — develops and passes legislation, which the president signs into law, and federal agencies (executive branch) implement legislation.

The primary immigration law today is the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (the INA). Most immigration-related legislation since then has amended various sections of the INA.

Among the most significant pieces of immigration-related legislation over the last two decades are the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), the Immigration Act of 1990, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), and the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA-Patriot Act).

Immigration legislation has also been embedded in other acts and bills. The REAL ID Act, which was passed as part of an emergency supplemental defense appropriation bill in 2005, includes provisions that bar undocumented immigrants from obtaining federally accepted drivers' licenses.

Over the last few years, there have been significant organizational changes in the structure of the agencies that oversee immigrant-related functions in the United States. The most substantial reorganization came as the result of the Homeland Security Act signed by President George W. Bush in November 2002.

According to this legislation, most of the policy and implementation functions of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), which was abolished in March 2003, landed within one of three bureaus of the newly created Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The act also reassigned some responsibilities for visa policy and procedures from the Department of State (DOS), which previously had de facto jurisdiction over the entire visa process.

Nevertheless, as outlined below, a variety of other agencies have immigration-related functions, and some have immigrant integration-related responsibilities even though the United States has no formal integration policy or a dedicated agency for integration. Currently, no single agency or bureau develops immigration policy, coordinates the work, and assesses the effectiveness of various federal agencies in performing their immigration functions.

The diagram below depicts federal agencies that are responsible for implementing, supporting, and enforcing the immigration and integration laws made by the legislative branch. Note: although these agencies have other functions as well, this Spotlight focuses only on those that relate to immigrants.

Click on the name of the agency to read more about its immigration/integration components:

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS is responsible for providing immigration-related services such as processing immigrant and nonimmigrant benefits adjudicating refugee, asylee, and naturalization petitions and granting or denying work authorization.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). CBP is charged with securing U.S. borders at and between ports of entry and facilitating legitimate trade and travel. It includes Border Patrol agents, as well as inspectors enforcing immigration, customs, and agriculture laws.
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE handles the interior investigative and enforcement responsibilities of immigration and customs, including detention and deportation. ICE focuses on national security, financial, and smuggling violations to target the support behind terrorist and criminal activities.
  • US-VISIT. This is a stand-alone program office responsible for implementing the program that uses biometric indicators to track the entry and exit of nonimmigrant visa holders at U.S. air, land, and sea ports of entry.
  • Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS). OIS is responsible for developing, analyzing, and disseminating immigration-related statistical information, including the annual Yearbook of Immigration Statistics.

Department of State (DOS)

  • Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). PRM is responsible for formulating policies on population, refugees, and migration, as well as administrating U.S. refugee assistance and admission programs.
  • Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA): CA interprets visa laws and regulations and serves as a liaison between the Department of State and overseas embassies and consulates on visa matters. Oversight of visa policy now rests within DHS. Consular officials issue visas and passports and provide services to U.S. citizens abroad.

Department of Justice (DOJ)

  • Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). EOIR is responsible for adjudicating immigration cases and for the interpretation and administration of immigration law. Its components include:
    • Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). BIA is the highest administrative body for interpreting and applying immigration laws. It has nationwide jurisdiction and is responsible for hearing appeals of decisions rendered by immigration judges or DHS district directors.
    • Office of the Chief Immigration Judge (OCIJ). This office is responsible for conducting formal court proceedings related to immigration cases. Their decisions are final unless sent to BIA.
    • Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO). OCAHO oversees the administrative law judges who adjudicate employer sanctions, document fraud, and IRCA-related discrimination cases.

    Department of Labor (DOL)

    • Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB). ILAB carries out DOL's international responsibilities by conducting research on economic, trade, immigration, and labor policies.
    • Employment Standards Administration (ESA). ESA's Wage and Hour Division ensures compliance with minimum wage, overtime, and child protection laws the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act and the protections of temporary worker programs. It also conducts inspections of I-9 forms.
    • Employment and Training Administration (ETA). Prior to an employer petitioning USCIS for a foreign-born worker, ETA's Office of Foreign Labor Certification must first certify that requirements for that visa classification have been met, such as attempted recruitment of U.S. workers and payment of specified wage levels.

    Department of Education (ED)

    • Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students (OELA). OELA ensures that limited-English proficient children, including immigrants, attain English proficiency and meet the same standards as all other students.
    • Office of Migrant Education. This office administers grant programs that provide academic and other services to the children of migrant workers whose parents work in the agricultural, fishing, and timber industries.
    • Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE). OVAE supports national research, evaluation, demonstration, technical assistance, and capacity building activities. Included in its program are adult literacy and the Center for Adult English Language Acquisition.

    Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

    Activity: Explore the Times Archive

    For this activity, you can choose one article from each immigration law section to read in its entirety. Or you can read the entire collection of articles on one particular immigration law. As you look at the articles from the archive, use the questions below to see not only what you can learn about the law but also to notice how people felt about immigration at the time period.

    First, interrogate the article visually: What do you notice about the article? When was it written? What page was it published on? What other articles or advertisements are surrounding it?

    Second, read the article in its entirety and ask yourself: What is the main idea of the article? What language is used when talking about immigrants and the policies discussed in the article? Does the use of language tell me anything about the beliefs of the writer or the beliefs at the time period?

    What beliefs and perspective are centered in this article? What perspectives are left out of the article? How might different people at the time period have reacted to the article?

    Third, make connections: What questions do you have after exploring this document? In what ways do the events or circumstances described in this document relate to something happening today? In what ways is it different?

    Note to Teacher: Some of the articles use racist or outdated language and depictions of people. Please read the articles selected to ensure that they are appropriate for your class. Also, the first link for each article goes to TimesMachine, where students can explore the full print edition if your subscription does not give you TimesMachine access, then use the PDF links to view the articles.

    1882 Chinese Exclusion Act

    The Chinese Exclusion Act stopped all immigration of Chinese laborers. It was the first time that federal law prevented members of a specific ethnic group from immigrating to the United States.

    1921 Emergency Quota Act

    The Emergency Quota Act of 1921 (PDF) created the nation’s first numerical restrictions on the number of immigrants who could enter the United States. It imposed quotas based on immigrants’ country of birth, and by design, it drastically reduced immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe.

    Immigration Act of 1924

    The Immigration Act of 1924 — also called the National Origins Act — made the quotas even more strict. It also effectively prohibited all immigration from Asia.

    Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965

    The Immigration and Nationality Act (PDF) ended the federal quota system that had severely restricted the number of immigrants from outside Western Europe. Instead, it opened the door to large-scale immigration by prioritizing highly skilled immigrants and people with family already living in the United States.

    Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

    The Immigration Reform and Control Act made it illegal for employers to knowingly hire individuals unauthorized to work in the United States, and it granted legal status to most undocumented immigrants who had entered the country before Jan. 1, 1982.


    To control immigration, many countries set up customs at entry points. Some common location for entry points are airports and roads near the border. At the customs department, travel documents are inspected. Some required documents are a passport, an international certificate of vaccination and an onward ticket. Sometimes travelers are also required to declare or register the amount of money they are carrying. [ citation needed ]

    This section is an attempt to classify and bring together information about immigration legislation on a number of countries with high immigration.

    Tier 1 General – settlement (ILR) after 5 years. A limit on 1000 Tier 1 migrants per year introduced by new government. Besides that the migration legislation changes on average every six months which makes Britain not attractive for skilled migrants looking for a second nationality. [ citation needed ]

    • industrial, electrical and construction trades
    • maintenance and equipment operation trades
    • supervisors and technical jobs in natural resources, agriculture and related production
    • processing, manufacturing, and utilities supervisors, and central control operators
    • chefs and cooks
    • butchers and bakers
      (CUSMA) (FTAs) [iii] (GATS)
  • Eligible persons can sponsor their spouse or partner to become permanent residents, but must be able to: [13]

    General work permit, Quota work permit, exceptional skills work permit and Intra-company transfer work permit. [18] Business permit. Minimum foreign capital investment ZAR 2,5 Million into book value of business which may be reduced on application. Minimum of 5 South African citizens/residents to be employed.

    No specific category. May fall under Exceptional Skills or Quota work permit. [21] Spousal visa. Proof of cohabitation and shared finances.

    Some commonwealth citizens have right of abode in the UK, which, for most practical purposes, gives them the same rights as British Citizens in the UK. [ citation needed ]

    Country / territory Requirements and restrictions Employed dependants Social benefits Deprivation of nationality Forgoing other nationalities required for naturalization? Deprivation of original nationality for those who naturalise in foreign countries?
    US The dependant of a resident visa holder may not work. No No, but foreign earnings are liable to taxation.
    United Kingdom Before settlement: No more than 180 days spent overseas within 5 years, no more than 90 days per trip.

    After settlement: Settlement would be cancelled after a certain number of days spent abroad. A single parent may immigrate if one is the sole supporter.


    With helicopters, buses and vans, hundreds of federal officials from the ICE together with agents and officers of other federal, state, and local agencies, raided the meat packing plant in the morning hours of May 12, 2008, seizing company records and arresting 389 individuals. [9] According to the U.S. attorney's office for the Northern District of Iowa, those arrested included "290 Guatemalans, 93 Mexicans, 2 Israelis and 4 Ukrainians". Eighteen were juveniles. [10]

    According to a retired federal agent, a raid on Agriprocessors expected to lead to the arrest of about 100 illegal workers mostly from Eastern Europe was planned in 2000, and canceled at the last moment over political concerns. [11]

    The 2008 raid was planned for months. An affidavit the Homeland Security Department filed in court before the raid cited ". the issuance of 697 criminal complaints and arrest warrants against persons believed to be current employees," and to have acted criminally. [12] The affidavit cited unnamed sources who alleged that the company employed 15-year-old children, that supervisors helped cash checks for workers with false documents, and pressured workers without documents to purchase vehicles and register them in other names. It also cited a case in which a supervisor blindfolded a Guatemalan worker and allegedly struck him with a meat hook, causing no serious injury. Sources quoted in the affidavit and application for search warrant also alleged the existence of a methamphetamine laboratory at the slaughterhouse, and that employees carried weapons to work. [10] Later press reports do not indicate that a methamphetamine laboratory was found during the search. [ citation needed ]

    The arrested workers were taken to a nearby fairground, the National Cattle Congress in Waterloo, Iowa, where they were charged with aggravated identity theft, a criminal offense that carries a mandatory two years sentence, and briefed on their rights and options. The immigrant workers, most of them without prior criminal records, were offered a plea agreement in exchange for a guilty plea to lesser charges. In total, 297 accepted the agreement and pleaded guilty to document fraud. In an expedited procedure known as "fast track", hearings were scheduled over the course of the following three days, in which the judges took guilty pleas from the defendants, who were bound by handcuffs at the wrists as well as chains from their upper torso to their ankles, in groups of ten, and sentenced them immediately, five at a time. [13] Most of the workers were sentenced to five months in prison [14] and were deported afterwards. Before this raid, undocumented people who had no prior records were usually not criminally charged in the aftermath of a raid, and were instantly deported on civil immigration violations. [13] Forty-one of those arrested were allowed to remain in the US, being granted a special visa, known as U-visa, for those who suffered violent abuse. [15]

    The Rubashkin family, ultra-Orthodox Jews of the Lubavitcher hasidic movement, who owned and operated Agriprocessors, has denied any knowledge of criminal activity. Aaron Rubashkin, the owner of the company said that he had no idea that his workers were illegal and that they had produced what appeared to be legitimate work documents. [16] Getzel Rubashkin, one of his grandsons who worked at the plant, was reported as saying: "Obviously some of the people here were presenting false documents. Immigration authorities somehow picked it up and they did what they are supposed to do, they came and picked them up. God bless them for it." [17] According to the ICE, costs of the raid totaled $5,211,092 as of August 21, 2008, not including costs associated with the U.S. Attorney's Office, the U.S. Department of Labor or local Postville authorities. [18]

    The raid significantly affected the Postville community. The town, with a census population of only 2,273, [19] lost a large percentage of its population due to the arrests. [20] As a result of the difficulties Agriprocessors faced after the raid, the plant stopped slaughtering cattle in October 2008, and filed for bankruptcy on November 5, 2008. [21] The City Council declared Postville a humanitarian and economic disaster area, but federal officials said the town did not qualify for help. [22] Agriprocessors was bought at auction in July 2009 and has resumed production under the new name "Agri Star" on a smaller scale. [23]

    Several Agriprocessors employees and managers were indicted on charges of conspiracy to harbor illegal immigrants and were convicted, whereas related charges brought against the owner, Aaron Rubashkin, and his son and CEO of the company, Sholom Rubashkin, were dismissed. However, the financial irregularities that were brought to light by the raid and subsequent investigations led to a $35 million bank fraud charge against the plant's top manager Sholom Rubashkin, who was convicted and sentenced to 27 years in prison. [15]

    Indictments and convictions Edit

    Guerrero-Espinoza and De La Rosa-Loera Edit

    On July 3, 2008, Juan Carlos Guerrero-Espinoza, supervisor of the beef kill department and three other departments, [24] and Martin De La Rosa-Loera, supervisor of the poultry kill department and three other departments, [25] were arrested at the Agriprocessors plant.

    They were charged with aiding and abetting the possession and use of fraudulent identity documents, and encouraging aliens to illegally reside in the United States. Guerrero-Espinoza was also charged with aiding and abetting aggravated identity theft. [ citation needed ]

    In late August 2008, Guerrero-Espinoza reached a deal with federal prosecutors and was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison. The plea deal allowed him to avoid deportation and for his wife and children to return to the US following his prison term. The sentence included a two-year mandatory ruling for aggravated identity theft. [26] In March 2009, De La Rosa-Loera was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison. [27]

    After the Flores-Figueroa v. United States ruling of the Supreme Court issued on May 4, 2009, he made a request for the reduction of his sentence. [28] Aggravated identity theft charges had formerly been dismissed against human resources employee Laura Althouse, supervisor Brent Beebe and CEO Sholom Rubashkin, the motion contended. [29] Both Guerrero-Espinoza and De La Rosa-Loera, after being released from jail, have gone back to work at the meatpacking plant under the new ownership. [30]

    Aaron Rubashkin, Sholom Rubashkin, Billmeyer, Althouse, and Freund Edit

    In September 2008, Aaron Rubashkin, his son Sholom Rubashkin, as well as the company's human resources manager, Elizabeth Billmeyer, and two office employees, Laura Althouse and Karina Freund, were charged for child labor violations. [31] State child labor charges against Aaron Rubashkin were dropped, and he was never charged federally. [32]

    In October 2008, Althouse pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens and one count of aggravated identity theft. She was sentenced to two years federal probation, Freund to one year of probation. [32] Billmeyer was sentenced to one year and one day in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release for harboring undocumented aliens and accepting counterfeit resident alien cards. After she agreed to plead guilty to state child labor charges under an agreement with the state, her sentence was reduced to eight months. [32] Former human resources assistant Penny Hanson was sentenced to two years probation on January 7, 2010. In 2010, state child law charges were dropped against former Agriprocessors supervisor Jeff Heasley, who had his case separated from the other defendants. [33]

    On October 30, 2008, Sholom Rubashkin was arrested and charged with conspiracy to harbor undocumented aliens for profit, aiding and abetting document fraud, and aiding and abetting aggravated identity theft. He was released on conditions that he wear a GPS ankle bracelet, limit his travel to the Northern District of Iowa, surrender his passport and his wife′s passport, and provide a $1 million appearance bond with $500,000 to be secured. On November 14, 2008, he was arrested again on a charge of a $35 million bank fraud. [34]

    Beebe Edit

    On November 21, 2008, Sholom Rubashkin, Brent Beebe, one of two operations managers at the Agriprocessors plant, poultry managers Hosam Amara and Zeev Levi, and human resources employee Karina Freund were indicted with charges including conspiracy, harboring illegal aliens, aggravated identity theft, document fraud and bank fraud. [35] Beebe pleaded guilty in January 2010 to conspiracy to commit document fraud as part of a plea agreement with the government. [36] In the plea, Beebe admitted that he conspired with former vice president Sholom Rubashkin and others a week before the May 12, 2008 immigration raid at the plant to buy fake identification documents for 19 employees. He was sentenced to 10 months in prison on May 26, 2010. The charges against Freund were dismissed. [37]

    Meltzer Edit

    On May 26, 2010, Mitch Meltzer, the plant′s former head accountant, was sentenced to 41 months in prison after his conviction on a federal conspiracy charge. In late September 2009, he admitted that he conspired with others to make false statements to a bank and that he signed false financial records that were used to mislead the banks. In addition to the prison term, Meltzer was ordered to pay $26.9 million in restitution. [38]

    Meltzer had been hired by the meat plant′s new owner after having been dismissed by Agriprocessors′ government-appointed trustee, and remained at the company for several months after he pleaded guilty to financial fraud. [39]

    Amara and Levi Edit

    Faced with federal charges Amara and Levi fled the USA. [40] Amara was arrested in Israel on March 31, 2011. [41] After unsuccessful appeals to avoid extradition from Israel, Amara was returned to Cedar Rapids, Iowa for trial on May 3, 2013. [42] [43] He pleaded not guilty. [44] He faced 25 counts related to harboring workers who were in the country illegally and two counts related to document fraud for conspiring to provide false immigration papers. His trial was set for July 1, 2013, but delayed until August 19 by U.S. Magistrate Jon Scoles. [45] On August 29, 2013, Amara signed a plea deal, admitting that he "conspired with Agriprocessors CEO Sholom Rubashkin and other executives for at least five years before the raid to harbor immigrants 'knowing and in reckless disregard of the fact' they had come to the U.S. illegally." He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to harbor undocumented immigrants for profit, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, though federal sentencing guidelines called for a shorter term. The other counts in the indictment were dismissed. [46]

    Sholom Rubashkin Edit

    On November 12, 2009, Sholom Rubashkin was convicted in federal court on 86 charges of financial fraud, including bank fraud, mail and wire fraud and money laundering. [47] On June 22, 2010, he was sentenced to serve 27 years in prison and to make $27 million in restitution. [15]

    On November 23, 2009, Sholom Rubashkin′s second federal trial on 72 immigration charges was canceled. After winning the financial fraud conviction, federal prosecutors dismissed all immigration-related charges against him. In its motion to dismiss, the U.S. Attorneys Office said any conviction on the immigration charges would not affect his sentence, writing, "dismissal will avoid an extended and expensive trial, conserve limited resources, and lessen the inconvenience to witnesses." [48] Without that trial, it is unlikely that much of the immigration-related evidence gathered at the Agriprocessors site following the raid, or much of the key witness testimony, will ever be publicly revealed. [28]

    On June 7, 2010, Sholom Rubashkin was acquitted in state court of knowingly hiring 29 underage workers at the plant. [49]

    On December 20, 2017, Sholom Rubashkin's sentence was commuted by President Donald Trump. Rubashkin had served 8 years of his 27 year sentence. [50]

    Garcia Edit

    On June 30, 2010, Alvaro Julian Garcia Jr., aged 73, was sentenced to 60 days in jail followed by two years of supervised release, for having registered vehicles that were sold to undocumented workers in Postville between 2004 and 2006 as part of a vehicle title scheme. [51]

    Public health outcomes Edit

    The post-Postville Raid environment was studied to determine whether racialized stressors may result in public health implications. A publication by Nicole L Novak, Arline T Geronimus, and Aresha M Martinez-Cardos found that infants born to Latina mothers in the state of Iowa after the raid had a 24% greater chance of low-birth weight when compared to infants born during the same period one year earlier. No such change was observed among infants born to White non-Latina mothers before and after the raid. [52]

    The Raid provides a "natural experiment" in which to investigate the effects of targeted immigration enforcement on birth outcomes within a larger community. According to Novak et al, "The psychosocial, economic, communal and identity-based stressors activated by the Postville raid may have interfered with Latina mothers' neuroendocrine balance and coping resources, leaving infants vulnerable to a dysregulated endocrine environment." They conclude that the Postville raid can demonstrate the effect of psychosocial stressors on health, and that "exclusive immigration policies and their militarized enforcement exacerbate the racialized exclusion of Latinos in the USA, which may contribute to a cumulative health burden for immigrant and USA-born Latinos alike." [1]

    Reactions Edit

    The raid has received wide national publicity. Lawmakers and labor union representatives criticized the Bush administration as disproportionately targeting workers instead of employers. [10] Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus met with Agriprocessors′ workers and community leaders in Postville, and Congressional hearings were held before a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee, which split largely across party lines in its reaction to the events of the raid. [53] Jewish organizations, reacting to the raid as well as to earlier criticism of Agriprocessors′ labor practices and slaughter methods, addressed questions of Jewish ethics, stressing the importance of the commandments (Hebrew: mitzvot) concerning the relationship between human beings (Hebrew: mitzvot ben adam l'havero), alongside those between human beings and God (Hebrew: mitzvot ben adam l'makom). [54]

    On the day of the raid, up to 200 protesters had gathered at National Cattle Congress in Waterloo and later held a vigil outside its gates on behalf of the detainees. [9] On July 27, 2008, a rally organized by St. Bridget's Catholic Church in Postville, Jewish Community Action of Saint Paul, Minnesota, and the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs of Chicago was held in Postville to protest working conditions in the plant, and to call for Congressional legislation to give legal status to illegal immigrants. [55] About 1,000 people, including Catholic clergy members, rabbis and Jewish activists, and Hispanic immigrants held an interfaith service at St. Bridget's Catholic Church, and marched through the center of town to the entrance of the meatpacking plant. [17]

    The first anniversary of the raid was marked by a prayer vigil followed by a procession to the National Cattle Congress grounds on May 11, 2009 in Waterloo, [56] on May 12, a prayer service and vigil at St. Bridget's Catholic Church, followed by a procession to Agriprocessors, took place in Postville. [57] Both events were attended by representatives of Christian and Jewish faiths, who demonstrated their solidarity and spoke out for immigration reform. Prayer vigils were also held on the second anniversary of the raid in Waterloo and Postville. [58]

    In "response to the humanitarian and economic disaster" created by the raid, the "Postville Response Coalition", composed of community organizations, the faith community, and city and county government officials, was founded in November 2008 to help individuals and families. [59] It was dissolved on March 31, 2010, after the meatpacking plant had reopened under new ownership and the community began to recover from the raid and the subsequent closure of the plant. [60] A new organization called "Postville First" was created through the impetus of the "Postville Response Coalition". [61]

    Reactions of political figures Edit

    Zoe Lofgren, Democratic member of the House of Representatives who chairs the House Judiciary Committee′s immigration panel, criticized the raid for the treatment of the workers during the raid itself, for subsequent "coercion" of guilty pleas, and for targeting workers rather than employers. [62] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has criticized the three-day series of court hearings in the aftermath of the raid, and has published a copy of a "script" that attorneys were given to use in discussing possible plea agreements with their clients. [13] Officials from the office of United States Attorney Matt Dummermuth, whose staff assisted in the preparation of the documents used in the hearings, have defended the proceedings. Bob Teig, a spokesman for Dummermuth's office, noted that the scripts were used only to ensure that the individuals being charged with crimes ". were fully advised of their rights and fully understood the consequences of their decisions to plead guilty." [13]

    Also, the raid and prosecutions took place while investigations of the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the Department of Labor (DOL) for possible violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act against Agriprocessors were underway. Concern was voiced, that the ICE raid may have affected the ability of the Department of Labor to conduct its investigation of the workplace, and that workers able to assist in the investigation or victims of possible violations may have been among those arrested. According to Democratic Representative from Iowa Bruce Braley, ICE claimed to have "fully coordinated its activities with other Federal agencies, including the Department of Labor prior to the May 12 operation at the Agriprocessors facility", whereas the Department of Labor stated in a letter of July 3, that, "'the raid occurred without the prior knowledge or participation of the Wage and Hour Division' and that, 'no advance notice was given to WHD or any other Department of Labor agency prior to the raid'. In addition, the DOL letter states that the May 12 enforcement action 'changes the complexion of WHD's investigation of Agriprocessors.'" [63]

    Iowa Governor Chet Culver criticised Agriprocessors in a guest editorial on August 24, 2008, comparing it to Upton Sinclair′s 1906 novel The Jungle: "Alarming information about working conditions at the Postville plant . brought to national attention by the raid forces me to believe that, in contrast to our state's overall economic-development strategy, this company's owners have deliberately chosen to take the low road in its business practices." [64] One day later, then presidential candidate Barack Obama spoke out against Agriprocessors' managers, without mentioning Agriprocessors by name, while campaigning in Iowa. [65] During Obama's first year as president, raids on workplaces declined, but deportations of illegal immigrants increased by nearly 10 percent from the last year of the Bush presidency. [66]

    Reactions of Jewish organizations Edit

    Several Jewish organizations had voiced concern about Agriprocessors′ meat products meeting ethical standards of kashrut ever since the first criticisms of its slaughtering methods and working conditions were made public, the former by the animal rights organization PETA, [67] brought to the attention of the general public by the New York Times, in November 2004, [68] and the latter by the Jewish newspaper The Forward in 2006. [69] As a result of it, an ethical certification for kosher products, Heksher Tzedek (English: ethical certification), introduced by Rabbi Morris Allen, was endorsed in 2007 by the Rabbinical Assembly, the international association of Conservative rabbis. [70]

    After the raid, Modern Orthodox rabbis met in Los Angeles on May 18, 2008 to discuss creating a heksher (English: kosher certification) for ethical issues. [71] The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the Rabbinical Assembly on May 22, 2008 issued a statement, requesting "that consumers of kosher meat evaluate whether it is appropriate to buy and eat meat products produced by the Rubashkin's label", adding that "the allegations about the terrible treatment of workers employed by Rubashkin's have shocked and appalled members of the Conservative movement as well as all people of conscience. As kashrut seeks to diminish animal suffering and offer a humane method of slaughter, it is bitterly ironic that a plant producing kosher meat be guilty of inflicting any kind of human suffering." [72] On May 23, 2008, the Jewish Labor Committee went further and "urged consumers of kosher meat products to seek alternatives to the Rubashkin labels" until Agriprocessors lives up "to the responsibilities of corporate citizenship, ends its campaign of worker abuse, and respects the rights of its employees including their legal right to union representation." [73] The liberal orthodox Jewish organisation Uri L'Tzedek, (English: awaken to justice), founded in 2007, called for a boycott of Agriprocessors′ products, [74] which it lifted six weeks later, after Agriprocessors had appointed a former U.S. attorney as compliance officer and had promised changes in their treatment of workers, [75] even though the management had not been replaced, contrary to the announcement made by the plant's owner immediately after the raid. [16] In September 2008, when the first criminal charges had been brought against Agriprocessors′ owner and managers, the Orthodox Union, the leading kosher certifier in the United States, threatened to withdraw its certification from the products of Agriprocessors, unless the company put a new management in place. [76]

    Ultra-Orthodox organizations did not take part in the discussion over ethical issues raised by the raid. After Sholom Rubashkin's arrest, Orthodox rabbis showed their solidarity, but, according to the Forward, "most of the [ultra-]Orthodox rabbis who are supporting Rubashkin . had never considered providing support to the immigrant workers. But Rabbi Shea Hecht, a Chabad rabbi . said he wished he had done more in the raid′s immediate aftermath." [77]

    Student leaders Gilah Kletenik and Simcha Gross organized a panel at Yeshiva University in response to this raid. The discussion engaged questions about ethics, the laws of kashrut and communal responsibility. [78]

    The consequences of the raid for undocumented workers and their families, many of whom were from Guatemala and Mexico, were documented in AbUSed: the Postville Raid, [79] a 2011 documentary film by Guatemalan film director Luis Argueta.

    Post Immigration

    With the onset of immigration and people moving to The United States, the situation caused this country to become known as the melting pot. The reason behind this is simple, because with people moving to this country from abroad, they helped make this nation a land of diversity and culture. These immigrants may have had intentions of coming here for work opportunities so that they could support their families, but their presence here lead to communities of people with different cultures and heritages coming together and living amongst one another as neighbors, though they were different as night and day.

    Immigrants from different countries lived, worked and played as one when they lived on the same street or in the same neighborhoods. This togetherness of immigrants in a strange land is what helped shape America into a melting pot, a melting pot of ethnic groups with the benefits of a better life or a better situation for those arriving on American soil. This is how it started. Even though the immigrants shared a common interest for coming to the United States each ethnic group still wanted to carve out their own special nook that represented who they were as individuals. After all, they may have left their homeland behind they did not leave behind their heritage or their customs and traditions. This is how such things as Chinatown, Greek villages and Italian communities popped up in cities across America. When they sat up house on American soil, they bought with them the flavors of their individual motherland.

    In the 1950's, immigrants living in certain areas, for instance the Spanish communities made the area their own by naming towns and streets after place from the country they left behind. An example of this is the fact that there is a Chinatown in Washington DC that represents what the immigrants left behind.

    For the immigrants, they have a taste of home and a place to call their own in America's melting pot.

    Timeline: The history of Hostess Brands

    1930: Interstate Baking Co., which later buys Continental Baking Co., is founded in Kansas City, Mo.

    1930: Twinkies sponge cakes are invented by James Dewar as a way to make an inexpensive product during the Depression

    1947: Hostess introduces Sno Balls cakes.

    1960s & 1970s: Interstate expands by acquiring other competitors including Supreme Baking Co., Kingston Cake Bakery, Schall Tasty Baking Co. and several others

    1967: Hostess introduces Ding Dongs and Ho Hos snack cakes.

    1979: The "Twinkie defense" — the name for an unlikely legal defense — is coined when Dan White goes on trial for the murders of San Francisco city supervisor Harvey Milk. His defense is that consumption of Twinkies and other sugary snacks was a symptom of depression that led to the murder.

    1995: Interstate Bakeries Corp., formerly called Interstate Baking Co., acquires Continental Baking company for $330 million

    2004: Interstate Bakeries files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

    2008: Twinkies are repackaged into a 100-calorie "Twinkie Bites" snack pack in a bid to appear more health conscious

    2009: Interstate Bakeries emerges from bankruptcy protection and changes its name to Hostess Brands

    Watch the video: The Economics of Immigration: Crash Course Econ #33 (August 2022).