Howard Foster, the Chicago lawyer we've written about repeatedly because of his heroic pioneering use of the RICO statute in class action suits against the employers of illegal aliens, has just blogged [The Obama Justice Dept. Is Not Enforcing The Laws Against Hiring Illegal Immigrants, March 9th, 2010] about the US Government's decision (which means the Obama Administration's decision) not to prosecute Agriprocessors' Sholom Rubashkin for immigration violations. Foster writes (links added by VDARE.COM):
"Postville, Iowa was a small mainly Lutheran Midwestern town of 2,300 when Abraham Rubashkin and his son Sholom, members of the fundamentalist orthodox Jewish Lubavitch sect and purveyors of kosher meat through their Brooklyn, New York-based company, Agriprocessors, bought the town's defunct meatpacking plant in 1987. Soon more than a hundred Lubavitchers moved from New York to Postville to work for the kosher meat processing plant, primarily in management positions. The actual killing and processing of livestock was done, as the nation learned in 2008, by a workforce of Guatemalan and Mexican illegal immigrants using fake identity documents. However, Agriprocessors' flagrant use of illegal immigrants was an open secret among consumers of kosher meats, discussed on numerous websites and debated in orthodox synagogues around the country. There were boycotts of the Company's Glatt (meaning strict adherence to Jewish dietary laws) products, marketed under the labels 'Aaron's Best' and 'Rubashkin's.'
"The situation persisted for years, actually decades, until the Bush administration got serious about enforcing the laws against hiring illegal immigrants (which I'll refer to as 'workplace enforcement') in 2007. (It should be noted that President Bush's interest in workplace enforcement began only after the failure of Congress to enact his 'comprehensive immigration reform' legislation, which would have allowed illegal immigrants to live and work legally in the U.S. upon payment of a modest fine in June 2007. Apparently, the administration decided the country really did want immigration enforcement after all.)
"In May 2008 the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement ('ICE') raided Agriprocessors, rounding up 389 illegal workers. (Most of the remainder of the 968 employees had apparently been tipped off and failed to show up for work on the fateful day.) This was reportedly the largest single ICE enforcement action since the agency's creation in 2003 as the successor to the I.N.S., which was abolished.
"Five hundred federal agents were deployed for the raid. The subsequent processing of the prisoners was such a vast undertaking that ICE had to use Postville's large Exhibition Center. At least 70 of the illegal workers pled guilty at the Center and were promptly deported. Another 40 illegals were detained so they could testify as prosecution witnesses against Sholom Rubashkin for hiring, harboring and falsifying documents in the long-running scheme to employ a mostly illegal workforce, which he, as CEO of the plant, directed be paid $5-$6 per hour, below the minimum wage. He also employed many underage workers, for which the State of Iowa is prosecuting him."
Foster goes on to note that, after all this, on November 19, 2009, Obama's Justice Department attorneys quietly dropped the immigration charges that had been laid by Bush's Justice Department attorneys. [PDF][Feds dismiss immigration charges against former Iowa kosher slaughterhouse manager Sholom Rubashkin, By Grant Schulte And William Petroski, Des Moines Register, November 19, 2009] This received virtually no publicity and Foster himself, although an expert in the area, only learned of it recently.
The Obama Administration's excuse was that it had convicted Rubashkin on other charges, relating to his financial rather than immigration crimes, and that the immigration charges would be "eclipsed" by the financial ones which carry high potential sentences. [Rubashkin facing 1,250 years — but first, another trial, Eric Fingerhut, JTA, November 19, 2009]
But if the government felt that way, why bother to hold one of the largest immigration raids in US history?
Why was one of Rubashkin's accomplices sentenced only to a year's probation and a $10 (!) fine? Why does ICE's website say only "The Worksite Enforcement Unit's mission encompasses enforcement activities intended to mitigate the risk of terrorist attacks posed by unauthorized workers employed in secure areas of our nation's infrastructure"—i.e. shows no interest in prosecuting non-terrorist workplace violations?
The point of immigration raids like this is to send a message. But the Obama Justice Department is interested in sending another kind of message—the one Steve Sailer predicted in April, 2008: Obama's "Civil Rights" Vision: Quotas, Increased Crime, More Socialism.
"A comparison of the enforcement efforts of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division and ICE tells us where the administration's priorities are. The Civil Rights Division of DOJ is, in the words of Attorney General Eric Holder, 'the crown jewel' of the Agency. It has a most impressive and detailed website filled with evidence of a steady stream of civil and criminal actions against employers who allegedly violate the civil rights of their employees (www.justice.gov/crt/emp/papers.php, visited March 9, 2010). I cannot find any evidence that the Obama DOJ has voluntarily dismissed a civil rights case. (Many are settled with consent decrees to enforce changes in hiring procedures, but that is not a dismissal of the charge.) If I am wrong about this, I would like to be told so I can correct the record and explore the reasons for the dismissal."
Well, I can answer that one. The answer is that the Justice Department, acting with the approval of Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli, dropped "a civil complaint accusing three members of the New Black Panther Party of intimidating voters in Philadelphia during November's election…[EXCLUSIVE: No. 3 at Justice OK'd Panther reversal, by Jerry Seper, Washington Times, July 30, 2009]
That sent a message, too. And if you want to know what the message was, read Washington Watcher's August, 2009 column, Obama Protecting Your Right To Vote—Unless You're White.