Grassley Asks for Expedited Review of Child Labor Violations at Agriprocessors
WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley today asked the Iowa Attorney General for expedited consideration of the 57 child labor violations that have been referred to his office by the Iowa Department of Labor. Grassley sent the letter with Congressman Tom Latham.
“It’s important that any potential labor violations be considered as quickly as possible so that these young people are not living in limbo longer than necessary,” Grassley said. “It would be unfortunate for Secretary Chertoff to make decisions on their status without having a full understanding of the allegations and the importance of these children to the case.”
Here is a copy of the text of the letter to Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.
August 20, 2008
The Honorable Tom Miller
State of Iowa
1305 East Walnut Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
Dear Attorney General Miller:
Attached, please find a letter from Iowa Labor Commissioner David Neil regarding possible child labor violations at Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa. It is our understanding that your office is currently considering the 57 cases referred by Commissioner Neil for possible prosecution of Agriprocessors.
Commissioner Neil is requesting assistance to keep undocumented individuals in the United States and avoid deportation in order to provide further testimony about the labor conditions at Agriprocessors.
As you are aware, stays of deportation are reviewed by the Secretary of Homeland Security on a case-by-case basis given relevant evidence. In order for Secretary Chertoff to properly review the deportation status of undocumented individuals arrested and detained as a result of the investigation of Agriprocessors, it is imperative that Secretary Chertoff have all relevant evidence and information available to him prior to considering a stay of deportation, including but not limited to, an affirmative statement regarding what steps your office plans to take with regard to these cases.
Accordingly, we urge you to expedite the review of these allegations, and provide Secretary Chertoff with all relevant facts and evidence justifying the potential issuance of a stay of deportation for individuals who are scheduled to be deported. If you intend to proceed with any prosecutions for labor violations, you should inform Secretary Chertoff forthwith to ensure proper coordination between federal and state law enforcement efforts.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
Charles E. Grassley Tom Latham
United States Senator U.S. Representative