Top Stories

Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

crystal_sugar_80
By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

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By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

After Postville raid, mystery advertiser in Guatemala sought meatpackers

By Douglas Burns | 06.27.08 | 12:34 am

Agriprocessors denies any role in ads touting ‘excellent opportunity’ in Iowa

By Lorena López and Douglas Burns

Just days after nearly 300 Guatemalans working at a Postville, Iowa, meatpacking plant were nabbed in the largest immigration raid in U.S. history, an unknown entity sought to recruit more laborers from the Central American nation for jobs in the same small Iowa town — going so far as to run advertisements in two major Guatemalan newspapers that a government official there says have all the trappings of a “fraud.”

The mysterious newspaper ads, published in late May and also affixed to telephone poles and store walls in Guatemala City, sought people for meat-processing jobs in Postville  — site of the May 12 raid at the kosher slaughterhouse run by Agriprocessors, the only meatpacking facility in the town.

Of the 389 people caught in the U.S. Immigration Enforcement and Customs (ICE) raid, 295 were Guatemalans working at the facility, said Tim Counts, an ICE spokesperson.

The ads, published in the Guatemala City newspapers Prensa Libre and El Periodico, promised an “excellent opportunity of a job in the United States” for “men who have permission to work in the United States.”

The printed pitch goes on to say that the company was “located in a technologically developed town with a friendly atmosphere, pretty green areas, public schools and family recreation areas” — and that the jobs paid $8.50 an hour and offered medical and dental benefits.

The ads don’t specifically mention Agriprocessors, and the company says it has nothing to do with them.

“Here’s the bottom line: Agri didn’t place the ads,” said Jim Fallon, a spokesperson for Agriprocessors, the nation’s largest kosher meatpacking company and Postville’s biggest employer. “We don’t know who did it.”

Guatemalan government investigates

Guatemalan government officials say they are seeking the source of the ads.

“This is a case that is under investigation,” said Erick Mauricio Maldonado, general director for immigration issues in the Guatemalan Chancellor’s Office. The matter is now in the hands of the Public Minister’s Office in Guatemala City, Maldonado said in a phone interview with Iowa Independent.

Maldonado added, “The government doesn’t support any of this program because we don’t know where it is coming from or who is placing it.”

The ads included a cellular phone number for those interested. Iowa Independent called the number and received an answer saying the phone number was no longer in service.

So did Guatemalan officials, who said they received the same result.

Asked who paid for the ads, Gerardo Jimenez, editor of Prensa Libre, said, “We don’t know.” When pressed whether the accounting department at the paper might know anything about payments, the editor said the paper had no information.

Maldonado said Prensa Libre provided the same answer to the government. He said an investigation is under way because of the potential “fraud” involved.

In the United States, Counts said he could not disclose any information about an investigation. “Even if agents do know something about it, it is not something we would confirm,” Counts said.

Agriprocessors has been shaken by the raid. CEO Sholom Rubashkin, son of the company’s founder, stepped down in late May.

Last week, Iowa Independent reported that an Agriprocessors supervisor who sold used cars and gave favorable treatment to company employees had fled to Israel, according to people who knew him. A federal agent said in a sworn affidavit that there was “probable cause to believe” that the supervisor who sold used cars “aided in the harboring of illegal aliens.”

The Postville plant, owned and operated by the Rubashkin family, is one of the leading processors of kosher food in the country. Members of the Rubashkin family have donated more than $120,000 to the Iowa Republican Party and Republican office holders in recent years and a smaller amount to Democratic Gov. Chet Culver and Lt. Gov. Patty Judge.

The company is under federal investigation, according to news reports.

(Lorena López is editor of the western Iowa Spanish-language newspaper La Prensa. Douglas Burns is a fellow for Iowa Independent.)

Comments

  • http://iowaindependent.com Ghost

    I’m am one of many “new recruits” in the Agriprocessors ‘excellent opportunity’ scam. Starting at the end of May there were rumors floating about of this “awesome” job offer in Iowa. As the news quickly traveled amongst the Homeless population of Amarillo, Texas the shelters began to empty out as men eagerly hopped a Greyhound. Now 2 months later, a third of them have already returned just as broke and burnt out as when they left.The flyer at Panhandle Worksource exaggerates beyond belief this “Kosher Hoax”.—Agriprocessors pays for the relocation of its employees to Iowa. Hourly pay Ranges ar $10-$18p/hr +time1/2 for over 40 hrs worked. Health, Dental, Vision, & 401K Benefits are available. Total BS! These Jews are the modern day Hitlers of smalltown Iowa.

  • http://iowaindependent.com Ghost

    I'm am one of many “new recruits” in the Agriprocessors 'excellent opportunity' scam. Starting at the end of May there were rumors floating about of this “awesome” job offer in Iowa. As the news quickly traveled amongst the Homeless population of Amarillo, Texas the shelters began to empty out as men eagerly hopped a Greyhound. Now 2 months later, a third of them have already returned just as broke and burnt out as when they left.The flyer at Panhandle Worksource exaggerates beyond belief this “Kosher Hoax”.—Agriprocessors pays for the relocation of its employees to Iowa. Hourly pay Ranges ar $10-$18p/hr +time1/2 for over 40 hrs worked. Health, Dental, Vision, & 401K Benefits are available. Total BS! These Jews are the modern day Hitlers of smalltown Iowa.

  • Kerrilynn Phoenix AZ

    I decided to see just how Mexico treats immigrants, whether legal or illegal on matters of property rights, business ownership, health care and all other aspects that these amnesty groups are demanding from the United States and her Citizenry. What I found was such hypocrisy that the United States should take clue from the Mexicans. Then let’s see if these pro-amnesty groups still scream for citizenship.

    According to the Mexican Constitution when it comes to owning property or other rights, the following applies to any immigrant whether legal or illegal:

    Legal capacity to acquire ownership of lands and waters of the Nation shall be governed by the following provisions:

    1. Only Mexicans by birth or naturalization and Mexican companies have the right to acquire ownership of lands, waters, and their appurtenances, or to obtain concessions for the exploitation of mines or of waters. The State may grant the same right to foreigners, provided they agree before the Ministry of Foreign Relations to consider themselves as nationals in respect to such property, and bind themselves not to invoke the protection of their governments in matters relating thereto; under penalty, in case of noncompliance with this agreement, of forfeiture of the property acquired to the Nation. Under no circumstances may foreigners acquire direct ownership of lands or waters within a zone of one hundred kilometers along the frontiers and of fifty kilometers along the shores of the country.

    Article 11. Everyone has the right to enter and leave the Republic, to travel through its territory and to change his residence without necessity of a letter of security, passport, safe-conduct or any other similar requirement. The exercise of this right shall be subordinated to the powers of the judiciary, in cases of civil or criminal liability, and to those of the administrative authorities insofar as concerns the limitations imposed by the laws regarding emigration, immigration and public health of the country, or in regard to undesirable aliens resident in the country.

    In other words, Mexico grants its citizens the right to arrest illegal aliens and hand them over to police for prosecution. Imagine the Minutemen or any other American Citizen exercising such a right??? Now that would be an eye opener for illegal aliens in this country!

    Article 32. Mexicans shall have priority over foreigners under equality of circumstances for all classes of concessions and for all employment, positions, or commissions of the Government in which the status of citizenship is not indispensable. In time of peace no foreigner can serve in the Army nor in the police or public security forces.

    Article 33. Foreigners are those who do not possess the qualifications set forth in Article 30. They are entitled to the guarantees granted by Chapter I, Title I, of the present Constitution; but the Federal Executive shall have the exclusive power to compel any foreigner whose remaining he may deem inexpedient to abandon the national territory immediately and without the necessity of previous legal action.

    Foreigners may not in any way participate in the political affairs of the country.

    Article 37. Mexican citizenship is lost when:

    * By aiding a foreigner or a foreign country, against the Nation, in any diplomatic claim or before an international tribunal;

    Jobs for which Mexican citizenship is considered “indispensable” include, pursuant to Article 32, bans on foreigners, immigrants, and even naturalized citizens of Mexico serving as military officers, Mexican-flagged ship and airline crew, and chiefs of seaports and airports.

    Article 119. Each State has the obligation to deliver without delay the criminals of another State or of a foreign State to the authorities who claim them.

    Americans should take a page from the Mexicans and make it a federal offense for those foreign born to be caught within our borders illegally! Were we to treat those who are here illegally the way they do, it might then be said that we are more *Gestapo like*, yet nothing done here is inhumane, violent nor deserving of that term. The Gestapo was Judge, Jury and executioner quite literally. Those here illegally would truly have something to fear if we went after them in those ways. Lies and twisted half truths, such are those of pro-amnesty persuasion.

    It is plain to see from these articles that no foreign born person will ever have anything or have anything resembling a life in Mexico. Taking a clue from Mexico may be a desirable alternative for those who make such outrageous claims against those of us in America who only want our laws enforced. And laws are what a country is known by…

    For the record – my significant other IS a Permanent Resident Alien and,
    I am pro LEGAL immigration!

  • Kerrilynn Phoenix AZ

    I decided to see just how Mexico treats immigrants, whether legal or illegal on matters of property rights, business ownership, health care and all other aspects that these amnesty groups are demanding from the United States and her Citizenry. What I found was such hypocrisy that the United States should take clue from the Mexicans. Then let’s see if these pro-amnesty groups still scream for citizenship.

    According to the Mexican Constitution when it comes to owning property or other rights, the following applies to any immigrant whether legal or illegal:

    Legal capacity to acquire ownership of lands and waters of the Nation shall be governed by the following provisions:

    1. Only Mexicans by birth or naturalization and Mexican companies have the right to acquire ownership of lands, waters, and their appurtenances, or to obtain concessions for the exploitation of mines or of waters. The State may grant the same right to foreigners, provided they agree before the Ministry of Foreign Relations to consider themselves as nationals in respect to such property, and bind themselves not to invoke the protection of their governments in matters relating thereto; under penalty, in case of noncompliance with this agreement, of forfeiture of the property acquired to the Nation. Under no circumstances may foreigners acquire direct ownership of lands or waters within a zone of one hundred kilometers along the frontiers and of fifty kilometers along the shores of the country.

    Article 11. Everyone has the right to enter and leave the Republic, to travel through its territory and to change his residence without necessity of a letter of security, passport, safe-conduct or any other similar requirement. The exercise of this right shall be subordinated to the powers of the judiciary, in cases of civil or criminal liability, and to those of the administrative authorities insofar as concerns the limitations imposed by the laws regarding emigration, immigration and public health of the country, or in regard to undesirable aliens resident in the country.

    In other words, Mexico grants its citizens the right to arrest illegal aliens and hand them over to police for prosecution. Imagine the Minutemen or any other American Citizen exercising such a right??? Now that would be an eye opener for illegal aliens in this country!

    Article 32. Mexicans shall have priority over foreigners under equality of circumstances for all classes of concessions and for all employment, positions, or commissions of the Government in which the status of citizenship is not indispensable. In time of peace no foreigner can serve in the Army nor in the police or public security forces.

    Article 33. Foreigners are those who do not possess the qualifications set forth in Article 30. They are entitled to the guarantees granted by Chapter I, Title I, of the present Constitution; but the Federal Executive shall have the exclusive power to compel any foreigner whose remaining he may deem inexpedient to abandon the national territory immediately and without the necessity of previous legal action.

    Foreigners may not in any way participate in the political affairs of the country.

    Article 37. Mexican citizenship is lost when:

    * By aiding a foreigner or a foreign country, against the Nation, in any diplomatic claim or before an international tribunal;

    Jobs for which Mexican citizenship is considered “indispensable” include, pursuant to Article 32, bans on foreigners, immigrants, and even naturalized citizens of Mexico serving as military officers, Mexican-flagged ship and airline crew, and chiefs of seaports and airports.

    Article 119. Each State has the obligation to deliver without delay the criminals of another State or of a foreign State to the authorities who claim them.

    Americans should take a page from the Mexicans and make it a federal offense for those foreign born to be caught within our borders illegally! Were we to treat those who are here illegally the way they do, it might then be said that we are more *Gestapo like*, yet nothing done here is inhumane, violent nor deserving of that term. The Gestapo was Judge, Jury and executioner quite literally. Those here illegally would truly have something to fear if we went after them in those ways. Lies and twisted half truths, such are those of pro-amnesty persuasion.

    It is plain to see from these articles that no foreign born person will ever have anything or have anything resembling a life in Mexico. Taking a clue from Mexico may be a desirable alternative for those who make such outrageous claims against those of us in America who only want our laws enforced. And laws are what a country is known by…

    For the record – my significant other IS a Permanent Resident Alien and,
    I am pro LEGAL immigration!

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