When the state of Alabama arrested a German director of the Mercedes-Benz factory in Tuscaloosa for failing to carry his driver’s license, it seemed to be a fluke, an amusing but statistically unlikely outcome of that state’s harsh new immigration law.
Only now it’s happened again.
The Guardianreports that Honda manager Ichiro Yada was arrested earlier this week at a checkpoint in Leeds, Alabama, despite being able to show police his passport, US work permit, and international driver’s license. He was not taken into custody, however, but was ticketed and released on a signature bond.
Yada’s international license was apparently not sufficient to satisfy the letter of the law, which required him to carry either an Alabama license or one issued by Japan. The charges were dismissed only when his attorney faxed a copy of his Japanese driver’s license to the judge.
The mayor of the city of Leeds defended his officers, saying, “The police are instructed to follow the law as written. People are trying to use this to make the law look bad. That’s not our problem. We’re going to enforce the laws of state of Alabama.”
Muriel Kane is an associate editor at Raw Story. She joined Raw Story as a researcher in 2005, with a particular focus on the Jack Abramoff affair and other Bush administration scandals. She worked extensively with former investigative news managing editor Larisa Alexandrovna, with whom she has co-written numerous articles in addition to her own work. Prior to her association with Raw Story, she spent many years as an independent researcher and writer with a particular focus on history, literature, and contemporary social and political attitudes. Follow her on Twitter at @Muriel_Kane
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