Alabama Cracks Down on (Illegal) Immigration

In the past we reported about controversial immigration laws in Arizona, Georgia and South Carolina. Another state cracking down on illegal immigration is Alabama. Last weeks arrest of a German Mercedes-Benz executive by Tuscaloosa police for driving without identification required by the law raises the question, however, whether such laws hurt hurt economic development of the respective state by cracking down on legal immigration.

Even though authorities dropped the charge against the German Mercedes-Benz executive last Wednesday, the arrest drew widespread attention. The German automaker Mercedes-Benz is one of the state’s leading employers, and its decision to build its first U.S. assembly plant in Alabama in 1993 provided the spark that helped lead to the state’s large automotive industry, which includes foreign manufacturers Honda, Hyundai and Toyota. One newspaper even cited the executive’s arrest in urging Mercedes to move to Missouri from Alabama.

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(c) Picture: Mercedes-Benz U.S. International

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Reinhard von Hennigs