Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Immigration law consequences, Alabama style

Mercedes-Benz has invested $4 billion in Alabama since opening its first U.S. factory there in 1993. About 2,800 people are employed by Mercedes in Alabama.  That makes Mercedes one of the largest employers in the state.  Alabama officials were therefore a little embarrassed when an executive from Mercedes-Benz was arrested and hauled off to jail on November 16th.  Seems the executive was driving a rental car without a tag.  That should have gotten the German a citation or warning but not in Alabama.  When the police officer pulled him over and asked for identification, the only paperwork the German had with him at the time was a German I.D. card.  Since the German I.D. card isn’t sufficient to prove that executive was in the U.S. legally under the new Alabama immigration law, the police officer had no choice but to arrest him.  A paper in St. Louis has suggested that Mercedes consider closing their Alabama plant and moving operations to Missouri where the immigration laws are not so strict. No word about Mercedes’ plans for relocating the plant or whether those 2,800 Alabama folks will be able to keep their jobs.  However, if they don’t, they can go to work in the fields since all the Hispanic farm workers have already left.

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