Where's the (Kosher) Beef?
An ICE raid at the AgriProcessors plant in Postville, Iowa last week has raised concerns about a kosher meat shortage, according to the Jewish Daily Forward. The raid seriously affected the plant's workforce—the article reports that the raid detained nearly 400 of the plant's 968 employees and caused others to go into hiding. The detainees are mostly from Mexico and Guatemala, though an ICE spokesperson said they also detained three Israelis and four Ukrainians (perhaps the rabbis responsible for kosher supervision?).
Since the plant apparently produces a significant percentage of the glatt kosher beef sold in the U.S., consumers fear that kosher meat prices will climb even higher. Kosher industry consultant Menachem Lubinsky told the Forward that "There’s been a little bit of hoarding going on."
Meanwhile, some detainees are alleging abuse by the plant, claiming that their employers subjected them to verbal abuse and withheld $50 per paycheck for so-called "immigration fees." Eighteen of the detainees were also minors, including some as young as thirteen—which makes it kind of ironic that, according to the Jewish Daily Forward, "15 or 20 yeshiva students have flown out to Iowa from Brooklyn to help out with the slaughter."