Backlash from Alabama’s business community has lawmakers in the State re-considering its tough immigration reform law.
The legislation suffered major blows after two foreign employees for Alabama’s prized Honda and Mercedes plants were given trouble during traffic stops.
A German manager with Mercedes-Benz was arrested under the law for not having a driver’s license with him while driving a rental car last month. Early this month, a Honda employee was ticketed at a routine roadblock set up by police even though he had a valid Japanese passport and an international driver’s license.
Mercedes kicked off Alabama’s multibillion dollar automobile industry with its decision to build its first U.S. assembly plant about 40 miles west of Birmingham in 1993. Honda has been building cars and minivans for 10 years in the State.
The recent incidents have the foreign companies wondering if Alabama is anti-foreign investment, a claim that Alabama Governor Robert Bentley flatly denies, according to The Associated Press.
“We are not anti-foreign companies. We are very pro-foreign companies,” he said.
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, who has defended the law against the Justice Department, has now recommended repealing sections that make it a crime for an illegal immigrant to fail to carry registration documents and that require public schools to collect information on the immigration status of students.