St. Louis Taunts Alabama on Immigration Law

The St. Louis-based Post-Dispatch newspaper has published a taunting editorial in the form of an open letter to Mercedes-Benz, suggesting they move manufacturing to Missouri.

This follows the embarrassing arrest of a Mercedes executive under Alabama’s harsh immigration law.

Since that arrest, there’s been another car company manager arrest. This time from another of the state’s big investors, Honda.

He was carrying his working visa, passport and an international driving license but this wasn’t enough under the new law to avoid him being ticketed, though unlike the Mercedes executive, he wasn’t taken to jail. A judge later dismissed the ticket.

Alabama law enforcement are putting all cops through four hours of training because the immigration law (which has had several clauses successfully challenged in court) has ’caused confusion across the state,’ according to Alan Benefield, head of the Alabama Police Officers’ Standards and Training Commission.

The arrests have led the Wall Street Journal to report that:

Negative publicity stemming from Alabama’s new anti-illegal immigrant law threatens to complicate the state’s efforts to continue luring foreign investment, some business leaders say.

Honda has 4,000 employees in Alabama with an investment of about $1.4 billion.

Agricultural is already devastated, with tomatoes rotting in the fields after Hispanic pickers fled.

Now the Birmingham Post reports that:

Alabama’s construction industry is losing jobs faster than almost every state in the nation, and industry experts say some of the losses are due to the state’s strict new immigration law.

Joey Kennedy writes for The Birmingham News that it isn’t just undocumented workers fleeing which is causing labor shortages, but documented ones who don’t want harassment and that other Alabamans aren’t stepping in to fill vacated jobs.

But according to Republican Gov. Robert Bentley, everything’s fine.

“We have had some unfortunate incidents that certainly look bad. But we are continuing to recruit jobs to the state. We have announcements that will be coming up very soon,” Bentley said in response to questions about the arrests.

And despite all the negative reporting, new polling shows that Alabamans continue to support the law, although polls suggest that many want the law revised.

Mocking this sunshine opinion on the law’s impact, The Post-Dispatch writes to Alabama’s big job providers:

Our state has many advantages over Alabama. We are the Show-Me State, not the “Show me your papers” state. Our Legislature is hostile on the immigration issue, but not as hostile as Alabama’s or Arizona’s.

Unlike in Alabama, our law enforcement officials won’t check immigration status unless presenting you for incarceration on other offenses. In St. Louis, we not only welcome immigrants (outside of Valley Park), but we have a proud German heritage.

In contrast with Alabama, your bosses and workers will get comfortable, gentle, leisurely treatment, they write, using the German word:

You’ve got two choices. Either ask your executives to carry their immigration papers at all times, or move to a state that understands gemüchlichkeit.

Related stories:

Alabama’s Immigration Law Driving Businesses Away

Red Tape from Georgia Immigration Law ‘Catastrophic,’ ‘Will Cost Jobs’

Condi Rice Defends Alabama Immigration Law

Picture by Casey Serin


Jason Shepard
Past Member 6 years ago

Alabama's law continues to prove its usefulness in putting AMERICANS back to work and livening up their economy. Seems the lawmakers may not have been as stupid as people wanted them to be. Now to get all the other states to follow suit.

Enjoy the article!

Mike Barnes
Michael Barnes6 years ago

It's a short step from Missouri to Illinois, where we actually build cars, and have (some) police departments that actually understand law enforcement. Come on up.

Patrick F.
Patrick f6 years ago

I hear banjos.....

Marie W.
Marie W6 years ago

Hey Right to Work in Alabama is being neutralized by this.

Portland Neola
P. L. Neola6 years ago

Missouri has a lot of illegal aliens working in their manufacturing industry. I worked for Tyson Foods, Inc. for close to ten years, and I know what I am talking about. Missouri is lenient with immigration, INS and other federal agencies are the ones who keep the state in line.

I am sure Alabama will have to work out a few revisions on their new law, but I feel they should stand by their law. Missouri is only taunting Alabama because of its GREED—MONEY, MONEY AND MORE MONEY!!!

I stand by Arizona and Alabama. I send or donate online to the State of Arizona’s Border Security Trust Fund. This trust fund will eventually provide the 50 million in funding for the Build the Border Fence project.

We, meaning all the states, need to work together as a nation in obtaining control of this very serious and economically draining immigration problem!!!

Mercedes Lackey
Mercedes Lackey6 years ago

Oh never fear. Alabama's privatized prisons will soon have chain gangs working those fields.

Mary L.
Mary L6 years ago

St. Louis you surprise me! A joke? Winning the World Series must have cheered you up more than I thought.

Given Missouri's half and half attitudes toward non-white people I am surprised, oh except for the fact that most of the execs are white... never mind.

Valarie Snell
Valarie Snell6 years ago

good article

David Anderson
David Anderson6 years ago

Theo C.
2:57pm PST on Dec 6, 2011
Alabama water tastes like turpentine ... to paraphrase an old blues song.

I didn't find anything wrong with the water, but I have never tried tasting turpentine. Perhaps you could share more information on the subject?

Theo C.
Theo C6 years ago

Alabama water tastes like turpentine ... to paraphrase an old blues song.