Alabama sours on hermetically sealed economy

Updated
 

Last week in Alabama, police arrested a German manager for the local Mercedes-Benz plant. He was driving a rental car that lacked proper plates. When the officer pulled him over, the executive didn’t have his passport on him. Under Alabama’s new immigration law, that meant the executive went to jail.

If you’re trying to recruit investors to create jobs in Alabama, that’s a very scary story:

“Sometimes we forget in Alabama that when we label a group as a problem and when we paint the brush so broadly, we’ve included most of the world,” said David Bronner, chief executive of the Retirement Systems of Alabama and a key player in luring new business to the state.

Alabama appears to be wearing out on its new immigration law, the toughest one in the nation. The bill was authored by Kris Kobach, now the secretary of state for Kansas, in a turkey blind. Literally. Mr. Kobach also wrote the “Papers, please” immigration bill in Arizona, which just led to the recall of the Republican state senator who sponsored it.

Across the border in Mississippi, incoming governor Phil Bryant this week touted the opening of a new Toyota plant in his state. Mr. Bryant, for the record, has also supported an Arizona-style bill. Mr. Bryant has backed off his assessment that “Satan wins” if Mississippi voted down the anti-abortion Personhood Amendment. I do wonder if he’ll back off the immigration thing a nubbin, too, seeing what’s happening next door in Alabama. He does seem very proud of those new Toyotas.

Mississippi and Alabama

Alabama sours on hermetically sealed economy

Updated