Postville Update: In Wake of Raid, U.S. Jewish Groups call for Reform
From the Jerusalem Post:
The immigration raid at Agriprocessors' kosher meat-packing plant in Postville, Iowa, in May in which 389 workers were arrested highlights the need for major immigration reform and for employers of illegal immigrants to be held accountable, Jewish leaders said at a press conference last week organized by the America's Voice organization.
The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), which has advocated on behalf of immigrants since the 1880s, is leading the calls for reform.
"When we talk about problems in Postville, we are talking about an individual case, but we are also talking about an endemic problem across the country, where employers are taking advantage of employees," said Gideon Aronoff, CEO and president of HIAS.
Aronoff was joined by Rabbi Morris Allen, founder of the kosher ethical certification initiative Hekhsher Tzedek, Rev. Steve Brackett, pastor of Postville's St. Paul's Lutheran Church, and Rosalind Spigel, acting director of the Jewish Labor Committee.
"If the accusations prove to be true they are very disturbing, but the story is much bigger than Agriprocessors and the kosher meat industry," Aronoff said.
"The silver lining here is that this will help us educate the Jewish community about the significant crisis," he said. "This has to be solved nationwide, not just in the northeast corner of Iowa."
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