PLEDGE NOW
The Postville Raid
An immigration rally on July 27, 2008, in Postville, Iowa, held in protest of a federal immigration raid of the local Agriprocessors plant in May. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

An immigration rally on July 27, 2008, in Postville, Iowa, held in protest of a federal immigration raid of the local Agriprocessors plant in May. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

For a tiny town of 2000, Postville, Iowa has been tagged with a lot of superlatives lately. The biggest immigration raid in American history. The biggest Kosher meatpacking plant in the country.

And now, maybe the biggest scandal over slaughterhouse work conditions since Upton Sinclair wrote “The Jungle.”

On May 12, federal agents swooped in to round up nearly 400 mostly Guatemalan immigrant workers for prison time and deportation. Now comes the inside story of coercion, child labor, and cattle guts — a meat hook beating, and workers who say they felt like slaves.

This hour, On Point: The uproar in Postville.

Guests:

Julia Preston, national immigration reporter for The New York Times, she has been reporting from Postville, Iowa.

Erik Camayd-Freixas, a federally certified court interpreter, he served as translator for detainees arrested in the Postville raid.

Mark Lauritsen, international vice president and director of the food processing and packing division of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which represents 250,000 meat packers around the country.

Pastor David Vasquez-Levy, campus pastor at Luther College in Decorah, some 20 miles from Postville. He has ministered to the migrant workers at the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, and since the federal raid, he has worked with St. Bridget’s Catholic Church in Postville, the migrant workers’ church, to help the families of the workers now in jail.

Links:

“After Iowa Raid, Immigrants Fuel Labor Inquiries,” by Julia Preston (New York Times)

“An Interpreter Speaking Up for Migrants,” by Julia Preston (New York Times)

Read Erik Camayd-Freixas’ personal account of the Postville immigration raid (pdf format)

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Feb 5, 2016
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas mingles at a campaign event at Robie's Country Store, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Hooksett, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Ted Cruz, Clinton and Sanders out of Iowa. Zika panic. Syrian peace talks fall apart. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Feb 5, 2016
A portion of the cover of Ben Ratliff's new book, "Every Song Ever." (Courtesy Farar, Straus and Giroux / The Publisher)

How to choose music in an age when everything is online and always there. New York Times music critic Ben Ratliff shows the way.

RECENT
SHOWS
Feb 5, 2016
A portion of the cover of Ben Ratliff's new book, "Every Song Ever." (Courtesy Farar, Straus and Giroux / The Publisher)

How to choose music in an age when everything is online and always there. New York Times music critic Ben Ratliff shows the way.

 
Feb 5, 2016
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas mingles at a campaign event at Robie's Country Store, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Hooksett, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Ted Cruz, Clinton and Sanders out of Iowa. Zika panic. Syrian peace talks fall apart. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Notes From New Hampshire, #4: Donald Trump — You Heard It First!
Friday, Feb 5, 2016

Jack Beatty recounts an evening rally with Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, and wonders if the billionaire businessman is really looking for an exit.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: February 5, 2016
Friday, Feb 5, 2016

Spread the word — we FINALLY have both a new website (in beta) and a new newsletter. Sign up, visit and see what’s happening in the On Point digital universe.

More »
Comment
 
Notes From New Hampshire, #3: Jeb Bush — Cry for Me, America!
Thursday, Feb 4, 2016

Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R) asked a New Hampshire audience to clap for him — and our own Jack Beatty was there to hear it.

More »
Comment