Wikipedia says at this moment that
There has been a steady influx of Hispanic migrant labor in the last few years, most of them being employed at Howard Industries, Sanderson Farms and independent labor. Companies in the area tend to recruit foreign workers due to the benefits of the federal government subsidizing their cost for training of those on worker visas. Those on visas also tend to be paid substantially lessAs is frequently the case, it's difficult to tell where Wikipedia is getting these facts, but if it's true, that would be one reason for Howard Industries having so many illegals. Another reason might be this story:
OSHA cites Laurel industry, Laurel Leader-Call, June 11, 2008So which is it that made Howard Industries hire so many foreigners—cheaper, (Federally-subsidized!) labor, or the fact that foreigners are less likely to complain about safety issues? Email Howard Industries and ask them.
The U.S. Department of Laborâ€™s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $193,000 in penalties against Howard Industries for 54 violations of federal safety rules at the companyâ€™s two manufacturing locations in Laurel.[More]
Nearly 600 Arrested in US Immigration Raid 27 August 2008
U.S. immigration agents have arrested nearly 600 people at a plant in the southern state of Mississippi in the single largest workplace enforcement raid in the nation's history.
Suspected illegal immigrants exit the federal courthouse in Hattiesburg, Miss., to leave in a U.S. Marshal's van to a overnight holding facility, 26 Aug 2008
Officials with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) say agents arrested illegal immigrants, including suspects from Peru, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Honduras, Brazil and Germany.
The raid took place Monday at a Howard Industries plant, a facility that manufactures electronic transformers, in Laurel.
Some 475 were transferred to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Jena, in neighboring Louisiana. At least 100 others, including caregivers and juveniles, were released for what authorities described as humanitarian reasons.