Alabama immigration crackdown snags Mercedes Benz executive
Tuesday, December 06, 2011 at 8:08 am
It’s well known by now that Alabama’s new immigration laws have proven once again that there are some jobs most Americans just won’t do, such as seasonal farm labor.
As immigrants flee the state and tomatoes rot on the vine, Republican politicians acknowledge that the law will take time to sort itself out. Farmers plea for help from political leaders to no avail.
When a Mercedes Benz executive was jailed on suspicion of being an illegal immigrant, the governor quickly came to his rescue.
Some of the fallout is faintly comical. A Mercedes-Benz executive visiting from Germany was arrested in Tuscaloosa while driving without proper ID and taken to jail on suspicion of being an illegal immigrant. He was eventually freed, but not before Alabama’s governor got involved because Mercedes is one of several automakers with Alabama plants crucial to the state’s economy.
Less amusing was what happened to a veteran who had just come home from Afghanistan and was trying to get license plates for his new truck. Because the new law doesn’t recognize military IDs, he was told he’d have to come back with his birth certificate. (You don’t have to be a citizen to serve.)