Mercedes exec's immigration arrest charge dropped

The city of Tuscaloosa has dropped a charge against a German Mercedes-Benz executive who was arrested under Alabama's new crackdown on illegal immigration.

Tuscaloosa police arrested the man last week for not having proper citizenship documents while driving a rental car in the city.

City attorney Tim Nunnally tells The Tuscaloosa News ( ) that authorities dismissed the charge because an associate of the man was able to provide the documents to police.

Republicans who support the law say it will help create jobs for legal Alabama residents, but some business leaders say it could hurt economic development in the state by scaring away foreign companies.

The man's arrest prompted a state inquiry to the city prompted by Gov. Robert Bentley, who signed the law.


A state lawmaker says he sponsored Alabama's tough new immigration law in part to encourage illegal immigrants to leave the state.

The comments by Micky Hammon, a Republican state representative from Decatur, came Wednesday as he testified during a federal court hearing on a lawsuit to stop Alabama officials from using the law to prevent immigrants from renewing required permits on their manufactured homes.

Two Elmore County immigrants are challenging a section of the law that prohibits most contracts where one party is an illegal immigrant. Civil rights groups criticize the law on several points, including that it forces immigrants to leave Alabama.

The plaintiffs want U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson to issue an order preventing state officials from refusing to renew the permits.

It's unclear when Thompson might rule.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)