Alabama Immigration Law: Working As Designed


An occasional commentator and Economics Professor here in North Carolina recently posted that the Alabama Immigration law is suppressing jobs in that state.  As proof, he cited this article:

(CNN) — Fierce critics of Alabama’s controversial new immigration law — and one of its staunchest supporters — are pointing to the arrest of a German Mercedes-Benz executive last week to make their case.

Police in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, pulled the man over because of a problem with the tag on the rental car he was driving, and then detained him when he didn’t have proper identification on hand, according to Alabama’s homeland security director.

Somehow, this is sufficient evidence that immigration laws in Alabama are keeping jobs out of the State.  However, even the article doesn’t think that’s the case:

[Senator] Brewbaker told CNN that requiring immigrants and foreign visitors to carry identification is common around the globe.

“I know a good many people with Hyundai and companies like that have gone to live in Korea. They say, ‘We’re expected to carry our papers with us because we’re foreigners,'” he said. “That’s the standard worldwide. I don’t want Alabama to be any more onerous on visitors, as long as they’re legally present, than anywhere else.”

Yes, of course.  Let us not forget that it’s a Federal Offense not to carry paperwork demonstrating that you are in America legally.  A Federal Offense.  It’s against the law.  If you are in America legally as a foreign visitor, you are breaking the law if you don’t carry paper work on your body.

But I get the point.  After all, the Mercedes executive was Hispanic and we all know that the Republicans are just racist haters:

For state Sen. Dick Brewbaker — one of the law’s backers — the arrest shows that officers aren’t racially profiling and that the state is enforcing the same types of requirements other countries have.

“This police officer in Tuscaloosa, he sure didn’t pull that guy over because he looked Hispanic,” Brewbaker told CNN. “He was just enforcing the law.”

See..?  Wait?  What?

The guy was pulled over for a crime, was asked to provide documentation and then arrested and he WASN’T Hispanic?

Stop it.

But I’m sure he was thrown into prison, tortured and has yet to be released.  Right?

“The incident was resolved when our colleague — who was visiting from Germany on business — was able to provide his driver’s license and other documents to Tuscaloosa Police,” the company said.

What a burden!  The man had to show documents proving he was who he said he was.  And then released.

If anything, the Alabama law is CREATING jobs.  Alabama farm workers are leaving the state in droves creating a shortage of harvesters.  A shortage that the farmers are unable to fill with native American workers.

Indeed.

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6 comments
  1. dedc79 said:

    As a libertarian, you don’t have a problem with a person being arrested simply for looking/sounding foreign and not having identification on him?

    That’s ok, but requiring people to have health insurance is an infringement of liberty?

    • pino said:

      As a libertarian, you don’t have a problem with a person being arrested simply for looking/sounding foreign and not having identification on him?

      Well, remember, I’m for people coming into America to live, work or play as easily as obtaining a cell phone. I think we should check to make sure an individual isn’t:

      1. On a terror watch list
      2. Wanted by his foreign nation
      3. Carrying a deadly infectious disease

      Other than that, come on it.

      So yes, I DO have a problem arresting someone just ’cause they appear ‘ferin. However, a few things:

      1. THAT is legal by today’s law. The Supreme Court has said it’s okay to use race as a reason.
      2. It is current law that all non-citizens must carry paperwork on their person at all times.
      3. The Mercedes Exec in this story isn’t Hispanic, he’s German.
      4. They didn’t arrest him because he sounded foreign, in fact, they didn’t arrest him.
      5. He was stopped, again, not for being Hispanic or even sounding foreign, but because the tags on his car weren’t legal.
      6. They detained him, not for the car rental’s oversight regarding tags, but because he didn’t have identification on him.
      7. Rather than throw him into solitary and imprison him for months on end, they let him call his friends. Who brought his papers to the police station. And then they released him. I don’t even think they water boarded him.

      but requiring people to have health insurance is an infringement of liberty?

      You think the government can mandate any ‘ol product they want you to buy?

      Can they force you to buy fruits and veggies?

      Or cars that the government makes in the name of better emissions?

      • dedc79 said:

        you’ve said you support requiring people to have some form of govt identification. How is that so different than requiring health insurance?

  2. It is true that in Europe you always have to have your ID on hand. Theoretically they can ask to see your “papers” at any time. I remember hoping that I wasn’t stopped while I was jogging since I didn’t want to bring my passsport along! I always saw it as a good thing that we aren’t required to have our “papers” ready for inspection by the state whenever its demanded. Now, you might say only foreigners have to prove this, but really how do we know who a foreigner is? Canadians blend in, and American citizens often are dark skinned and speak with accents.

    It seems the state intrudes ever farther. Of course, the real libertarian position as I understand is free migration across borders so this clearly isn’t a libertarian law in Alabama!

    • pino said:

      It is true that in Europe you always have to have your ID on hand

      Is that true of European citizens? In other words, does an Italian citizen have to carry papers in Italy or is this a requirement for, say, Americans in Italy?

      I always saw it as a good thing that we aren’t required to have our “papers” ready for inspection by the state whenever its demanded.

      It is. And as far as I know, they can’t demand you to show your papers. Unless, that is, they have reason to believe that you are not a citizen.

      It seems the state intrudes ever farther.

      The States have gone to great lengths to write their laws to mirror Federal law. I’m interested to understand how you think that have gone further.

      Unless you mean that the States are actually enforcing the law that the Feds don’t.

  3. pino said:

    you’ve said you support requiring people to have some form of govt identification. How is that so different than requiring health insurance?

    It may surprise many, but I do think there is a role for government. And I think that when you have citizens and non-citizens, it becomes necessary to identify the two. A very good way of doing that is to carry identification.

    I don’t think that the requirement to purchase a product is the same as being required to prove identity.

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