Alabama Anti-Immigrant Law Nets German Mercedes-Benz Manager and Honda Executive
Monday, December 05, 2011
Alabama’s tough anti-illegal immigrant law, intended to nab undocumented Hispanics, wound up ensnaring two foreign automaker executives.
First, police arrested a German manager with Mercedes-Benz for not having a driver’s license with him after his rental car was pulled over for not displaying the proper tag. With only his German identification card on hand, the 46-year-old executive was charged with violating the immigration law for not having proper identification. He was later released after a colleague retrieved his passport, visa and German driver’s license from the hotel where he was staying.
Under the new law, all drivers are required to carry a valid driver’s license, either from a U.S. state or from their native country. But these provisions did not stop law enforcement from ticketing another auto executive from overseas, this time from Japan.
Ichiro Yada, a manager for Honda Motor Company, was stopped at a checkpoint in Leeds and cited despite showing an international driver’s license, a valid passport and a U.S. work permit.
The incidents opened up Alabama to criticism from across the U.S. and other countries. The St. Louis-based Post-Dispatch newspaper published an open letter to foreign car companies welcoming them to relocate their businesses from Alabama to Missouri.
“We are the Show Me State, not the Show Me Your Papers State,” wrote the Post-Dispatch.
Alabama Red-Faced as Second Foreign Car Boss Held Under Immigration Law (by Ed Pilkington, The Guardian)
Mercedes Manager from Germany Arrested in Alabama (Associated Press)
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