Prayer service marks 2 year anniversary of immigration raid - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Prayer service marks 2 year anniversary of immigration raid


POSTVILLE (KWWL) -- Wednesday marks the two year anniversary of an immigration raid at the Agriprocessors meat packing plant in Postville.

A prayer service was held at St. Bridget's church in Postville. The church served as a gathering place for family members of those detained following the raid and has since become an advocate for those detainees.

Almost 400 people were taken into custody during the raid in May 2008 and transported to a temporary detention center and courthouse at the National Cattle Congress grounds in Waterloo. At the time, it was the largest immigration raid in U.S. history.

Some of those detainees have testified in cases against former Agriprocessors managers, including Sholom Rubashkin, who faces the majority of the charges. Other detainees who were found to be in the country illegally have been deported.

The meatpacking plant is under new ownership and has been renamed Agri Star. In April, the new owner said the company received $600,000 in state assistance and tax credits to update machinery in the plant and is currently employing about 560 people.

In November 2009, former manager and CEO Sholom Rubashkin found was found guilty of 86 counts of financial fraud. At the time, Rubashkin faced a possible life sentence, and 72 separate immigration charges were dropped because the judge said a conviction would "have no impact."

Since then, a sentencing hearing was held in Cedar Rapids on the financial fraud conviction. Prosecutors asked for a 25 year sentence for Rubashkin while the defense asked for six years. The judge will deliver a sentence on May 27.

Currently Rubashkin is also on trial for 83 counts of child labor violations. This trial is being held in Black Hawk County.

Watch the KWWL News and tonight for coverage of the Postville prayer service and an update on Rubashkin's trial in Black Hawk County.

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