I've been told by two sources that more than 200 immigration police, troopers and federal agents are in the process of raiding Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa. Helicopters are said to be circling the facility, which will presumably remain closed for an indefinite period of time.
… which is owned by the Rubashkin family of Chabad hasidim, produces the Aaron's Best, Rubashkin, Shor HaBor, Supre Kosher, David's and other glatt kosher and kosher meat and poultry brands.
UPDATE 11:30 am – The Des Moines Register is now online with a story predicting "hundreds of arrests":
Poststville, Ia. – Federal agents descended upon this northeast Iowa community at about 10 a.m. today to conduct an immigration raid at a meat-packing plant.
Agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement entered Agriprocessors Inc. in Postville to execute a criminal search warrant for evidence relating to aggravated identity theft, fraudulent use of Social Security numbers and other crimes, said Tim Counts, a Midwest ICE spokesman.
Agents are also executing a civil search warrant for people illegally in the United States, he said.
Representatives of Iowa’s congressional offices said they have been told by federal officials that hundreds of arrests are expected.
A helicopter hovered over the scene, and a number of agents formed a perimeter around the Agriprocessors facility. Vehicles from ICE and at least eight cars and vans from the Iowa State Patrol were at the plant. There were also reports of two moving vans at the scene, along with an ambulance and two black Chevrolet Suburbans.
Counts declined to confirm where people who are arrested will be detained. Federal officials have leased the National Cattle Congress fairgrounds in Waterloo, but they declined to explain last week whether the property was being prepared for use as a detention center.
Counts said that each person being arrested would be questioned by ICE and by Public Health Service medical professionals to determine if they have humanitarian issues, including child care giver or medical issues.
“Those interviews will aid ICE in determining whether people will be detained or conditionally released on humanitarian grounds, pending their immigration court appearance,” Counts said.
Counts described the events in Postville as a “single site operation.” He said he was not aware of any other immigration raids being conducted elsewhere today.
Aides to U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, a Waterloo Democrat, said they have been told that "hundreds" of arrests are expected because the action is more of an "investigation" than an immigration raid, and specific individuals are being targeted for arrest as part of the investigation.
Jeff Giertz, a spokesman for Braley, said immigration officials left the impression that the Cattle Congress site will be used mainly for processing of suspects rather than any long-term detention.
Postville Police Chief Michael Halse said he did not know anything about the raid until 10 a.m. today.
Iowa Department of Public Safety officials referred all questions to federal authorities. A news conference is scheduled at 2 p.m. today at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cedar Rapids.…
He also tells me local schools are being raided on suspicion children are employed at the plant.