Thankful for life's little ironies

Tue, 11/22/2011

Today Slate reports a new and (finally) amusing chapter in Alabama's anti-immigrant efforts. Police arrested and sent to jail a German Mercedes-Benz executive because he didn't have his passport. While the governor apparently protested vigorously to his law enforcement colleagues, the state homeland security director told the Washington Post that “If it were not for the immigration law, a person without a license in their possession wouldn’t be arrested like this." A direct outcome of the immigration law that Alabama passed in June which requires police to arrest anyone who they suspect of being in the country illegally. The executive had not brought his passport with him.

This is just the latest logical absurdity that emerges from Alabama's effort to rid itself of the 'scourge' of illegal immigration. The other 'predictable surprise' is that farmers don't have anyone to pick their crops. Potato farmer Kieth Smith says about his dilemma: "I've had [American] people calling me wanting to work," Smith said. "I haven't turned any of them down, but they're not any good. It's hard work..."

Making things harder for business -- whether for Mercedes-Benz or a local farm -- is a bad way to run a state. We hope that Alabama will come to its senses soon.