Last month, this blog recounted the story of a Mercedes-Benz executive being arrested in one of Florida's neighboring states under the state immigration law. The turmoil in Alabama over the state immigration law was roiled further when a Honda worker visiting the state was stopped in Alabama. Now, news reports indicate that many lawmakers who pushed for the immigration law are back-pedaling on the measure.
While the measure does not directly affect federal employment immigration or business immigration opportunities, it has apparently become an issue in the international business community. The governor is reportedly contacting foreign executives to tell them they are welcome in the state, despite to strict immigration law.
Alabama's immigration law is being contested in federal court. The state attorney general is defending the measure, although outside the courtroom he is calling for repeal of parts of the law, according to the Associated Press. The attorney general reportedly seeks repeal of at least two sections that have already been put on hold by a federal court while the state law runs through the federal challenge.
The recent difficulties for visiting foreign executives apparently have cast a new light on the state law and the potential effects on foreign businesses that operate in that state. The cases against the two auto executives, who reportedly were in the country legally under a valid U.S. visa, have caused a bit of a stir.
Business groups are pressuring lawmakers for revisions to the law and some lawmakers are acknowledging that legal residents are suffering when attempting to renew professional licenses or attempting to buy car tags.
The renewed interest in changing the law apparently is not universal. A number of lawmakers continue to support the law or say it only needs minor tweaks.
Florida lawmakers considered several measures during the last legislative session, without any measure making it to the governor. As this blog reported in August, Governor Scott intends to seek some form of Florida immigration law during the 2012 session.
Source: Associated Press via CBS News, "Ala. GOP leaders have 2nd thoughts on immigration," Dec. 8, 2011