Detlev Hager, Mercedes-Daimler Benz executive, was the most recent (and very much unintended) victim of Alabama’s new immigration law. Hager was driving through the street of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. His drive was not accompanied by complete knowledge of a specified route. He was doing what many of us do in non-familiar surroundings; we feel our way. Big mistake!
Hager did not realize his rental car was improperly tagged. He was pulled-over by local police who demanded identification. All was well at that point; the officer was enforcing laws he was required to uphold. Hager’s only identification: a German ID. The New Alabama immigration law then kicked-in and the Mercedes executive was arrested.
“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.
An SEIU executive commented on the arrest….
“It is really ironic and showed the absurdity of this law. Here you have a foreign employer who has brought many workers jobs … caught in this web that is supposed to bring jobs,” said Mitch Ackerman, executive vice president of Service Employees International Union.
Alabama’s governor boasted about the legislation when he signed it into law. Apparently he is rethinking a provision of the law.
Greg Canfield, Director of the Alabama Development Office.
Due to a number of unintended consequences including this incident, Republican Governor Robert Bentley, a strong supporter of the bill, was considering revisions, Canfield said.
“This is the type of item we want to address,” Canfield said. Hager was held until a fellow passenger retrieved his passport and German driver’s license. He was released on a signature bond, according to Anderson.
The Alabama immigration law also impacts the State’s agricultural industries. Immigrants are leaving the state, placing crop tending and harvesting in jeopardy. It appears the wave of the 2010 Elections and the agenda that accompanied the Tea Party wins, are placing Alabama in the ‘spotlight.’ It is a spotlight the majority of progressives predicted and will lead to changed provisions of the ‘narrow-minded’ law.
Mercedes-Daimler shouldn’t be surprised at the unfortunate arrest of the executive. The company balked at placing the assembly plant in the state due to Alabama’s affection for the Confederate Flag. As reported on the Rachel Maddow show, linked below, the company was sensitive to ramifications from the state’s affinity for the confederate flag. Maybe, Mercedes-Daimler should have looked around for a better location. Forcing issues related to the flag was but a mere tangible item that was not accompanied by the unseen roots and meaning of the flag: the southern mindset.
In 1993 Mercedes-Daimler expressed concern about the Confederate Flag as a State emblem.
The AP reported (The 1993 article will need scrolling up and down for reading)
I you want more perspective on the regress horrors of the Alabama immigration laws (HB-56) consider reading this link. It will remind you of a time well past in U.S. History; a time many conservatives seem to want to revise. A time of Jim Crow.