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View Diary: Alabama reconsiders immigration law after not-brown person gets arrested (296 comments)

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  •  If the Bloomberg article is correct in saying (24+ / 0-)

    that the German executive had no identification or immigration papers on him except for a German ID, then the guy was breaking U.S. federal immigration law and would likely face arrest anywhere in the United States, not just Alabama.

    All foreigners in the United States in temporary status (nonimmigrant visa status) are required by federal law to carry with them at all times their foreign passport and papers showing immigration status, which in this case probably would be an I-94 card show admittance as a business visitor under the Visa Waiver Program.

    The Alabama law is outrageous.  But the German executive should not escape criticism.

    "Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow." -- last words of Steve Jobs.

    by Timaeus on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 12:34:06 PM PST

    •  OTOH... (11+ / 0-)

      It's a Federal law, and not something that state or local officers would normally tangle with during a traffic stop.

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

      by Phoenix Rising on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 01:06:33 PM PST

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      •  Oh sure, I completely agree. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cartoon Peril

        My most highly recommended diary ever was on the recent Arizona anti-Mexican laws.

        But I guess my point is that if the guy had been following the law, as virtually all sophisticated business executives know to do, the Alabama cop presumably would have just waved him on.

        "Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow." -- last words of Steve Jobs.

        by Timaeus on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 02:23:52 PM PST

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    •  Also no license plate on the car. (6+ / 0-)

      I'm a white native Alabaman. But I would still get pulled over for that if I passed a trooper on the road. And I wouldn't get off with a warning just because I have the "right" kind of funny accent.

      The local media reported the same lack of documentation as Bloomberg so as far as I know that's correct. The problem with the Alabama law is brown people getting pulled over for driving while brown.

      Just because you're not a drummer doesn't mean that you don't have to keep time. -- T. Monk

      by susanala on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 01:34:13 PM PST

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      •  Sort of (6+ / 0-)

        The problem is that this guy was arrested and incarcerated. Americans with a simple driver's license wouldn't have been hauled off to the slammer. We'd have just gotten the ticket. This law mandates treating every foreigner as suspect, and therefore driving while brown has apparently become a sort of de facto probable cause.

        The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

        by Korkenzieher on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 02:09:34 PM PST

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      •  no license plate, good point, most of us would (0+ / 0-)

        been pulled over in almost any state.  I have relatives who are state troopers. They all said they would pull someone over for not having a license plate on their call to at least inquire about it and they woudl ask for the registration and drivers license.  But they would not likely arrest this guy as they are not AL state troopers operating under this insane, bigoted law.

         It is what happened after the stop that might not happen in most other states.

    •  Oh my god. All OWS protesters should be arrested (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, i like bbq, mrkvica, Caipirinha, Miggles

      because they're breaking the law by being in parks overnight.

      There's breaking the law and then there's technical violations of the law.  Most law enforcement officers have the sense to differentiate between them.  I hardly think not having your I-94 card on your person would be considered a violation of law that would call for an arrest, for god's sake.

      My husband's been here for round about 15 years now.  He does carry his I-94 with him, but there has been the odd time he forgot his wallet and the period of time after he lost his wallet and received the replacement I-94.  That's what happened to this guy - he'd forgotten his paper in his hotel room.  Hardly grounds for arrest.  At most, make a couple calls or follow the guy to his hotel and let him get the paper.  Good lord, the lack of common sense of some people is simply mind boggling.

      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

      by gustynpip on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 02:46:46 PM PST

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      •  Are you accusing ME of a lack of common (0+ / 0-)

        sense?

        You're reading too fast and assuming too much.

        And what, pray tell, is your source for your claim that this guy had "forgetten his paper in his hotel room"?  Sounds like you just made that up.

        I didn't say that people SHOULD be arrested for not having proper papers, for crying out loud.  I'm saying they CAN be arrested for that.

        After 9/11 there were thousands of people who were imprisoned on much less than this.

        "Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow." -- last words of Steve Jobs.

        by Timaeus on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 05:28:26 PM PST

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        •  No, I'm not accusing you of a lack of common (0+ / 0-)

          sense (speaking of reading too fast and assuming too much).  

          The newspaper article I read said he'd forgot it in his hotel room.  Sorry, I don't have a link.  But where else do you think it would have been?  Obviously, he had one, or there wouldn't be quite such a brouhaha.

          Just out of curiosity, why would you be so shocked at the idea of someone suggesting you might be lacking in common sense?  Are you like a perfect human with no faults?  And then, too, why would you assume I made up the statement that the guy'd forgotten his papers in his hotel room?  I find it quite perplexing that you'd get so upset about my having refuted your statements that you'd actually cap "ME" and accuse me of lying.  What gives?

          "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

          by gustynpip on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 06:27:01 PM PST

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          •  You were replying to me with an insult. (0+ / 0-)

            So I thought it was an insult.

            Just out of curiosity, why would you be so shocked at the idea of someone suggesting you might be lacking in common sense?  Are you like a perfect human with no faults?

            That's pathetic.

            Maybe he just forgot his papers. But there are all kinds of other possibilities.  They could have been stolen. They could have been lost. They could be in a pants pocket in a washing machine.  He might have a personal policy of not carrying them. The company might have a personal policy of insisting that immigration documents be kept in the hotel's safe. The news reports might just be wrong as him not even having them with him; the cop may not have known what a passport and I-94 are.  Etc. etc.

            "Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow." -- last words of Steve Jobs.

            by Timaeus on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 07:49:21 PM PST

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            •  Okay, I get it. You don't take kindly to (0+ / 0-)

              someone who questions your statements.  You are, however, going a little far astray here.  You're suggesting that the company might have a policy that he's obligated to violate US immigration law while he's here?  Or that he has a personal policy of violating immigration law while here?  That one's at least remotely plausible, more so than that the company might require him to commit illegal acts while here, but still at least borderline unreasonable.  Anyway, like I said, the newspaper article I read said he'd forgot them at the hotel.

              Actually, my query was an attempt to make you see the lack of necessity for such a ferocious reaction, by pointing out that having a fault (such as not always having perfect common sense and not always being 100% right) is pretty much par for the course of being a human being.

              However, since I've clearly offended you by failing to accept your post, I apologize for obviously having worded my response poorly so that you found it offensive.  I will say that most people who post here expect to be questioned and disagreed with from time to time, but I either hit a nerve or my consideration meter is way off tonight and I stepped in it.

              "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

              by gustynpip on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 08:10:42 PM PST

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    •  Yes, it's the Americans from birth like (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timaeus

      me, with a foreign accent that always get trouble from the Feds because I am not required to carry any papers.  They don't believe I'm not foreign.

      So it's just been easier when travelling around the Southwest to take my passport with me, because you never know when you'll get pulled over by them.

    •  Tim, my experience is arrests are rare for this (0+ / 0-)

      but you are correct, you're supposed to carry evidence of lawful admission to U.S. with you at all times if you are not a citizen.

      The Alabama law forces citizens to carry prove of their citizenship with them, this is new.

      You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

      by Cartoon Peril on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 07:28:23 PM PST

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    •  and he didn't seem to have a DL on him (0+ / 0-)

      which is clearly not allowed anywhere while driving.

      I mean let's be straight, this Exec thought he is above the law and could afford to drive around without ID and DL or he was completely ignorant. The officer was actually kind of brave to not be intimidated to get a white rich Exec arrested.

      So, if a poor white guy drives around without DL and ID in Alabama, he doesn't get arrested? If he does get arrested, so should the richt white guy, being Mercedes Exec doesn't put you above the law.

      Now I want to know if the governor would have been embarrassed, if they had arrested a brown, richt Exec from some non-so-lilly-white country.  But I guess that gets too complex...

    •  But the penalty for not carrying the I94 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IM

      "shall not exceed $100", so it's pretty obvious that taking someone into custody for that is way, way on the over-reaction side of things.  There is nothing to suggest that this would ever be an offense requiring an arrest, especially for someone who has no criminal record, no previous violations of a missing I-94, etc.  Furthermore, an I-94 document is none of any-fucking-Alabama cop's business, and they wouldn't know a real one from a fake anyways.

      Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

      by Miggles on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 10:20:14 PM PST

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