In October, this blog discussed employment-based visas for Florida businesses. Many Miami and South Florida businesses rely on the immigrant and non-immigrant employment visas available under U.S. immigration law to hire foreign nationals. However, as most Americans know, we live in a global economy in the 21st century. Occasionally, foreign nationals visit the United States on business. That was the situation last week underlying an immigration status arrest of a German national in Florida’s neighboring state.
Police in Alabama arrested a German manager with Mercedes-Benz who was visiting the U.S. on business. The foreign national was driving a rental car that apparently did not have a proper license tag. Police pulled the manger over on the license tag issue. The Mercedes-Benz manager only had a German identification card and was hauled down to the police station on suspicion of violating the state’s immigration law.
The 46-year-old manager reportedly was charged under the state law with the immigration law violation for not having proper identification. While in police custody, the German national apparently was able to have an associate retrieve the foreign national’s driver’s license, visa and German passport from the Mercedes-Benz manager’s hotel room.
The state’s homeland security director fielded a call from the governor after the arrest. Since the homeland security director had not heard about the incident, he called the local police who made the arrest to learn what had happened. Later, the homeland security director said, “It sounds like the officer followed the statute correctly.”
The state law requires police to inquire into a person’s immigration status during traffic stops. The state’s homeland security director says, “If it were not for the immigration law, a person without a license in their possession wouldn’t be arrested like this.”
Source: AP via Washington Post, “Mercedes-Benz manager from Germany arrested under Alabama’s strict new immigration law,” Nov. 18, 2011