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WHAT OTHERS SAY: Hey, Mercedes, why not relocate to Missouri?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011 | 2:49 p.m. CST

Dear Mercedes-Benz U.S. International:

We are dismayed about the unfortunate arrest of one of your company's German executives who ran afoul of Alabama's restrictive anti-immigration law.

The 46-year-old executive was arrested Friday while driving a rental car because he didn't have his immigration papers with him.

How inhospitable. Carpetbaggers never have been treated very kindly in the South, though we would have thought exceptions would have been made for those with SUV factories in their carpetbags.

The head of the state's pension system, David Bronner, told the Associated Press about Alabama's immigration law: "You are giving the image, whether it's valid or not, that you don't like foreigners, period."

Here's an idea: You should move your SUV plant to Missouri.

Our state has many advantages over Alabama. We are the Show-Me State, not the "Show me your papers" state. Our legislature is hostile on the immigration issue, but not as hostile as Alabama's or Arizona's.

Unlike in Alabama, our law enforcement officials won't check immigration status unless presenting you for incarceration on other offenses.

Many of our founders came from your country, and at least two elements of traditional German heritage — hard work and beer — stuck.

We realize that moving a massive automotive plant is quite the undertaking, but we happen to have space and a lot of trained autoworkers. A lot.

We have a state law that offers up to $100 million in tax incentives for automobile plant expansion; in the last 12 months Ford and General Motors have expanded operations here. We probably could come up with a lot more for a brand new plant.

Missouri is not a right-to-work state, but let's face it: Judging from the new United Auto Workers contracts, there's not much to fear there.

Word is, your employees in Vance, Ala., already are well paid, and your corporate boss, Daimler AG, is no stranger to dealing with auto workers' unions.

You've got two choices. Either ask your executives to carry their immigration papers at all times or move to a state that understands gemüchlichkeit.

Copyright St. Louis-Post-Dispatch. Reprinted with permission.

 

 


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