Sholom Rubashkin was initially charged with one immigration violation and released on bail. On the day following his release, the prosecutors returned a new indictment adding various financial charges . After bringing these new charges, the prosecutors sought to revoke the bail ruling, alleging that Jews pose a unique flight risk as a consequence of the Law of Return.
The Law of Return was passed in Israel after World War II to enable Jews to return to Israel after their near extermination. At the time of the bail hearing, Sholom Rubashkin was 49 years old, married, the father of 10 and a citizen of the United States with no prior criminal record. He was not, and is not, an Israeli citizen; he has no bank accounts, property or assets in Israel; he does not have an Israeli passport or visa; and his wife, children and parents reside in the United States and are U.S. citizens.
Defining Jews as a greater flight risk due to Israel’s Law of Return is repugnant. It had rightfully never been argued before. Even more troubling is that the U.S. magistrate judge handling the matter, Judge Jon Stuart Scoles, accepted the prosecutors’ unsavory arguments, denying bail to Rubashkin.
Sholom Rubashkin sat in jail for 76 days as a result of this discriminatory argument and was only released when the district judge overturned the ruling.