Immigration Charge Against Mercedez-Benz Executive Dropped by Alabama City
Authorities from the city of Tuscaloosa in Alabama said that the immigration charge against a Mercedez-Benz executive who traveled to Alabama from Germany on a business trip and found himself trapped in the web of the immigration laws of the state have been dismissed.
The Mercedez-Benz executive was arrested after a police officer caught him driving without the identification required by the law.
Although the man had been arrested by the Tuscaloosa police last week for failing to show proper citizenship papers while driving a rental car in the city, Tim Nunnally, the city attorney, said in an email that the charge has been dismissed after the executive later showed a municipal court his documents.
The man was identified by the police as 46-year old Detlev Hager. The company said that he was in the state on business but declined further comment on the subject.
The arrest gained a huge interest because the German automaker is one of Alabama’s leading employers, and its decision to construct its first U.S. assembly plant in the state in 1993 started the trend that ultimately led to Alabama’s large automotive industry, which now includes foreign car manufacturers such as Hyundai, Honda and Toyota.
Republicans who supported the immigration measure said that the law will help generate jobs for legal residents of Alabama by driving away illegal or undocumented immigrants. However, some business leaders and critics of the law said that similar arrests could affect economic development in Alabama by making it a less-attractive site for foreign businesses.
A newspaper based in Missouri cited in an editorial the arrest of the executive in urging Mercedes to leave Alabama and move to Missouri. It said, “Our state has many advantages over Alabama. We are the Show-Me State, not the `Show me your papers’ state.”