As we reported earlier, one of the most striking features of the "Day Without Immigrants" boycott earlier this month was the almost total capitulation of business leaders to the events.
In plant after plant, company after company, owners decided to cut their losses and shut down for the day, without retaliation against the employees skipping work. At a 4,000-strong rally in Lumberton, N.C., nearby Smithfield Foods -- a hog corporation notorious for its labor law violations -- was even providing shuttle buses so workers could get to the march.
Now the backlash appears to be unfolding, and it's being led by zealous law officials eager to take matters into their own hands. Here's a dispatch from Kentucky:
The arrests of 76 suspected illegal immigrants in Northern Kentucky on Tuesday prompted "Juan" - the only name he would give during an interview - to head for the woods.
"I stayed there one full day, from morning until the next morning, without anything to eat or drink," said the 23-year-old Guatemalan, who lives in Boone County. He spoke in Spanish that was translated into English by Gil Esparza of the Hispanic Resource Center in Covington.
"The reason for me hiding was fear," said Juan. "We're Hispanics, and we're always scared of what can happen." Esparza said Juan is a legal resident because he is sponsored by an employer. But despite seven years working here, Juan is not sure of his status.
"I don't know if I am here legally because I don't understand this process," he said. "I fear that if they pick me up, they will treat me like an animal."
While the strident actions of leaders in Arizona have gotten the headlines, there has also been an uptick in raids in Tennessee, Texas, and a case in North Carolina we plan to be reporting on soon. Stay tuned, this battle has just begun.