Alabama immigration law might be making more enemies than friends, as a 46-year old Mercedes-Benz executive Detlev Hager from Germany, was arrested on streets of Tuscaloosa last week, for driving without a driver’s license.
The rental car he was driving, lacking a tag, caught the attention of a local policeman, who stopped Hager on Wednesday. When the officer asked for a driver’s license, all he had on him was a German ID card.
“He was taken into custody,” Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steven Anderson said.
Under Alabama’s new immigration law, considered the toughest in the nation, everyone in Alabama must carry a valid identification card, including U.S. citizens. Before the new law, a citation would have been issued and the driver would have been sent on his way. Now offenders are taken to jail, Anderson said.
He was released from custody after the necessary papers were produced.
Eventually, a colleague was able to find the man’s passport, visa and drivers licence at his hotel and took it to police, who subsequently released the Daimler executive, the Associated Press reported.
Mercedes-Benz’s headquarters in Germany confirmed the arrest to The Local, but declined to comment further, directing all questions to its US subsidiary, which was not available on Monday morning.
“We heard that he didn’t have a drivers licence but we don’t have any more information right now,” a spokeswoman told The Local.
The incident even apparently drew in Alabama’s governor, who called the authorities to determine what had happened, although his office denied he had exerted any pressure on police.Source: www.thelocal.de
With Germany being the state’s largest international trading partner, will the immigration policy change the foriegn investment?
Germany is Alabama’s largest international trading partner, and Mercedes, a unit of Daimler, recently announced more than $2 billion in new investment there through 2014. Is this any way to treat a visitor, especially one representing a company that could just as easily invest in some other low-wage state? Is this any way to treat anybody at all?
Of course, all sorts of unexpected and nasty things happen when you empower the police to demand papers of suspected illegal immigrants and nullify contracts they enter and impose a host of other vile and unnecessary penalties, like forcing schools to check the immigration status of children and their parents (one of several provisions blocked for now in federal court).
Will the law end up being used to harass legal immigrants? I am sure it will!
To the foreign nationals and companies, I would suggest to run from right-wing states and find a nice left-wing state to start your business.