The film AbUSed: The Postville Raid focuses on the 2008 arrest of nearly 400 undocumented workers, primarily from Guatemala, in rural Postville, Iowa. The raid of Agriprocessors Inc., a slaughterhouse and meat packing plant, by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division of the Department of Homeland Security was at the time the largest single raid of a workplace in U.S. history.
The film exposes how poorly the detention and prosecution of so many individuals was handled using an expedited procedure called ‘fast track.’ Shackled defendants were brought into plea agreement hearings ten at a time, and sentenced in groups of five. Interviews with prosecutors and public defenders involved in the legal procedings provide insight into a justice system hijacked by the sheer number of defendants and Federal political pressure. In May 2009 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Federal prosecutors had inappropriately used aggravated identity theft laws to prosecute undocumented workers, as was done in the Postville Raid. Find the film in the Law Library DVD Collection at JV6970.P67 I5 2011.