Rubashkin, former executive officer at Agriprocessors, released from prison last week

Employees escorted from the plant

In this May 14, 2008 file photo, agents with the U. S. Immigration and Customs patrol the exits to Agriprocessors as employees leave the plant during the raid Monday, May 12, 2008. Over 300 workers were detained and taken to a temporary holding block in Waterloo. 

The 2008 immigration raid at Agriprocessors meat packing plant changed the community of Postville forever. Although the raid happened nearly one decade ago, it is never far from the thoughts of those who lived through the fear and anxiety that was felt on a Monday morning in May. It was especially hard on those who had family members sent to prison and deported. Again,  last week the community was reminded of the raid and its aftermath when Wednesday, December 20, President Donald J. Trump commuted the prison sentence of Sholom Rubashkin, the former executive officer of Agriprocessors, who was serving a 27 year sentence for bank fraud. In a statement from the White House, President Trump was encouraged to commute by both members of the Republican and Democratic parties.

Several in the community of Postville have voiced their opinions concerning Rubashkin’s release after serving seven years of a 27-year sentence. Members of the Jewish Community have expressed joy and happiness that Rubashkin is able to be reunited with his family and are pleased with the President’s decision.

On the other hand, the priest at St. Bridget’s Catholic Church, spoke with disdain of the release. His comments alluded to the fact that Rubashkin knew of the abuse and exploitation of the immigrants and allowed it to happen. He added that the fear of the families and the crying of the children on the day of the raid will never be forgotten.

Read the full article in the December 27 edition of the Postville Herald.