There’s 49 Other States


From Think Progress
, a year ago this guy would have gotten a ticket, not tossed in the slammer…

Alabama’s economy is suffering because of HB 56, the state’s draconian immigration law, as workers flee out of fear. State Sen. Scott Beason (R), who sponsored the anti-immigrant bill in the Alabama legislature, once called it a “jobs bill,” but the state’s immigration law is leaving entire industries without enough workers instead.

And the extreme law, which legislators are now reconsidering, could seriously damage the state’s reputation as well after police arrested a German Mercedes-Benz executive last week under the immigration law. Mercedes opened its first American manufacturing plant in Vance, Alabama in 1993, spurring a trend of foreign car makers and suppliers opening factories in the state. They may be rethinking that decision, however, after one of their German executives was arrested for simply not having his passport with him.


Read the rest here.

Think Progress links to a story in Associated Press

[Alabama Governor, Robert]Bentley, a Republican who signed the illegal immigration law earlier this year, called the state’s homeland security director, Spencer Collier, after hearing of the arrest to get details about had happened, Collier said in an interview.

“Initially I didn’t have them, so I called Chief Anderson to find out what happened,” Collier said. “It sounds like the officer followed the statute correctly.”

Collier said he didn’t know how Bentley found out about the arrest, and Bentley press secretary Jennifer Ardis referred all questions to Collier.

Collier said he has made at least a dozen similar calls to law enforcement agencies that made arrests under the law to see how it is being handled, and he said his call to Anderson wasn’t prompted by the fact a Mercedes executive was arrested.

“It’s just to make sure they’re using best practices and following the law,” he said.

If I were cynical, I’d take a perverse pleasure in the fact that the un-named Mercedes exec probably didn’t ‘look illegal’.

Bloomberg Business at msnbc has a detailed article about Why Americans Won’t do Dirty Jobs.

The short version is that these jobs are so difficult, dangerous and poorly paid that in an American economy workers lose money doing them. The only way to make it work is to send the American dollars to a poorer country where the value is greater. Bloomberg describes workers toiling 13 hours for $60. And this bears further investigation– an American worker trying to make a job in the fields..

In a neighboring field, Cedric Rayford is working a row. The 28-year-old came up with two friends from Gadsden, Ala., after hearing on the radio that farmers were hiring. The work is halfway complete when one member of their crew decides to quit. Rayford and crewmate Marvin Turner try to persuade their friend to stay and finish the job. Otherwise, no one will get paid. Turner even offers $20 out of his own pocket as a sweetener to no effect. “When a man’s mind is made up, there’s about nothing you can do,” he says.

NO ONE WILL GET PAID??? I’ll bet this is some ‘independent contractor’ deal where the workers get no hourly wage, no social security, no workers comp. insurance. This bears further investigation.

Alabama and other states that erode workers rights, health and safety are left with an economy that depends on jobs that do not pay a living wage. Governor Bentley has just dug deeper into the pit. Scapegoating immigrants won’t solve Alabama’s problems. Supporting workers rights is essential, but won’t offer any short-term political gain, and is not in sync with the Republican Party.

Mercedes, y’all can come up here. We could use some good jobs and we don’t arrest people for forgetting their driver’s license.

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8 responses

  1. In just about every foreign country in the world, foreigners are REQUIRED to register with police either directly or via their hotel and are REQUIRED to have their passport on their person at all time. I do not know of a country that requires knowing which where non-citizens are or why they are where they are. Mexico, for example, has amazingly stringent laws that bar illegals from their country,. especially folks from other Central American countries. Mexico deports those people as quickly as they are found. Farm work is difficult and sometimes dangerous, but usually for the farm owners who operate machines and need to deal with the federal government and illegal cartel folks along our unsecured borders. Farm labor does pay money, housing, health care, schooling and as I recalled Caesar Chavez was a strong proponent of secure borders, getting illegals out of the farm worker labor force and protecting the rights of American farm workers.

    Good to see the realization that there are 49 states other than Alabama. As I recall, President Obama thought he, “had visited all of our 57 states.”

    1. “In just about every foreign country in the world, foreigners are REQUIRED to register with police either directly or via their hotel and are REQUIRED to have their passport on their person at all time.”

      I haven’t traveled far or wide, but my visits to Canada and Spain certainly didn’t involve registering with police (even through the hotel) or carrying a passport (I left that thing locked in a safe).

      How often are you out of the country?

      1. I’ve spent a lot of time outside the country and the immigration laws in foreign countries are neforced much more forcefully than here.
        France is a good example.They deport people en masse-a good case in point is Romanian Gypsies-as a matter of fact Romanian Radio International recently covered this issue in detail.
        Get a shortwave radio-it’s amazing what we never hear on our media.
        You can get a Kaito 1103 for about $89 on Amazon and it’s pretty good at picking up international broadcasters.
        tere’s a small learning curve involved.

  2. There is so much wrong with the immigration discussion I don’t know where to start.
    But let me start by saying it is NOT a “Hispanic”issue.
    It is a legal and common sense matter.
    We need secure borders(as secure as a border might get-it’s not easy at all)and we need to view immigration enforcement as a routine matter rather than a controversial one.
    It won’t happen and the rseults will not be good.
    Racism isn’t driving this-it’s more like the fact that a “cutting into line”mentality is being endorsed by “leaders”at all levels.
    Imagine if we took this approach to laws across the board-it would be Mad Max tme.
    Immigration should not be approached with emotion on either side,but with deliberation and careful study of the facts.

  3. I resent the notion that there are jobs Americans won’t do since in our country there are all sorts of dangerous and unglamorous jobs done. In rural Alabama it may take a while to match willing workers with the job locations, and it may take higher pay to speed this up. The whole idea of a “free market” is that if the labor supply is too low, raise the wages until it is in balance. But they rather use illegal labor, a system that results in exploited illegal farm labor, unemployed Americans, and disrespect for the rule of law.
    If we feast on the coming holiday, lets think of the folks who produced the food and hope they are doing well.

    1. Alas, the ‘market’ is not a purely theoretical medium. Americans are barely willing to work for minimum wage in retail (which is ‘cushy’ compared to farm work). We have a very high standard of living here, nobody I know is going to do a decade of hard labor in the fields.

      If you wanted to attract Americans to those jobs, you would need to pay at least as much as you pay, miners, truck drivers and oil workers; the price of produce would triple overnight. That’s the practical result of the market reaching equilibrium.

      I’m not so sure either side has it right. ‘Getting rid of all the illegals’ probably won’t make a big difference in the grand scheme of things, and ‘open borders’ would bring a rapid demise to the nation. Maybe unlimited, legal ‘work programs’ that are like ‘temporary amnesty’ are in-order. Combine it with a commitment to deport illegals who do commit actual violent crimes.

  4. Interesting post, as usual! To go off-topic, I’m being a dog’s-Paul-Revere today just to let your readers know that chicken-jerky “dog treats” are killing dogs, the FDA has issued a warning, but the corporations are not yet recalling the “treats.” If your dog, like mine, was showing symptoms, toss the treats immediately.

    Thanks again to the corporate giants and their partnership with China….

  5. Calling the alabama law “anti-immigrant”is inaccurate and adds nothing to the discussion.
    Immigrants are legal residents.There are no such things as “illegal immigrants”or “undocumented immigrants”-immigrants are very well documented.
    Using silly emotional terms is immature and makes the truth ever harder to recognize.

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