I’d say any state trying to lure foreign manufacturing to its borders might want to avoid these kinds of headlines:
Mercedes manager from Germany arrested in Alabama
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — A German manager with Mercedes-Benz is free after being arrested for not having a driver’s license with him under Alabama’s new law targeting illegal immigrants, authorities said Friday, in an otherwise routine case that drew the attention of Gov. Robert Bentley.
Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steven Anderson told The Associated Press an officer stopped a rental vehicle for not having a tag Wednesday night and asked the driver for his license. The man only had a German identification card, so he was arrested and taken to police headquarters, Anderson said.
The 46-year-old executive was charged with violating the immigration law for not having proper identification, but he was released after an associate retrieved his passport, visa and German driver’s license from the hotel where he was staying, Anderson said.
Oh, wow. Heads are gonna roll, just you wait!
Mercendes-Benz has built SUVs outside of Tuscaloosa since 1993. Alabama, like Tennessee and the rest of the South, has become an auto manufacturing center for various foreign automakers, but as this story reveals, the marriage isn’t always a happy one.
Bentley, a Republican who signed the illegal immigration law earlier this year, called the state’s homeland security director, Spencer Collier, after hearing of the arrest to get details about had happened, Collier said in an interview.
“Initially I didn’t have them, so I called Chief Anderson to find out what happened,” Collier said. “It sounds like the officer followed the statute correctly.”
Collier said he didn’t know how Bentley found out about the arrest, and Bentley press secretary Jennifer Ardis referred all questions to Collier.
Oh, the irony that a German was asked to show his papers … and didn’t have them!
Gee, I wonder how the governor of Alabama got wind of this plant manager’s arrest? Anyone want to hazard a guess? One of the state’s major employers has a manager arrested under a controversial new immigration law and “somehow” the governor who signed the bill finds out about it? Hmmm…. (For the record, the governor’s spokesperson denies this, but I’m smelling bullshit all over his “we’ve made dozens of these calls” denials. Prove it.)
I’m sure once the Governor explained this law was just for brown people, all was fine.
I’ve said it before a thousand times, and I’ll say it again: the South’s knuckle-dragging Neanderthal politics has economic repercussions, peoole. You can’t have one foot in the modern global economy and one foot in the racist past and not expect to get torn apart eventually. Some fences just won’t be straddled.