A federal immigration raid at a Laurel, Miss., factory has divided co-workers at Howard Industries, the largest employer in the small Southern town. Latino employees said they were stunned as black co-workers clapped and cheered as hundreds of immigrant laborers were arrested and hauled away, reports the Los Angeles Times. The raid at Howard Industries, a manufacturer of electrical distribution equipment, was the largest of its kind in many years, and it exposed some of the rawest emotions that fuel the illegal immigration debate.
The raid was welcomed by a number of native-born residents in the manufacturing hub of about 25,000 people that has been transformed in recent years by the influx of Latino workers, many of whom are undocumented. “They need to go and do this in every little town,” Tonya Jackson said. “We’ve been here all our lives. And it seems like they have just arrived and are getting the nice cars and the good homes.”