German executive’s immigration case over

THURSDAY, NOV. 24, 2011

Authorities in Alabama dropped charges Wednesday against a German Mercedes-Benz executive who was arrested under the state’s stringent new illegal-immigration law after a police officer caught him driving without required identification.

Last week, a Tuscaloosa police officer pulled over Detlev Hager, 46, for driving a rental Kia with no license plates. After Hager was only able to produce German identification documents, an unacceptable form of identification under the new law, he was arrested, police Chief Steve Anderson said.

The Alabama law, considered the nation’s strictest, includes a provision requiring police conducting traffic stops to check the residency status of people they suspect of being illegal immigrants.

An associate of Hager’s was able to retrieve his passport and a German driver’s license, which led to the executive being released after the arrest. Hager then presented the documents in court, and the charges were dropped.

Prior to the law going into effect, drivers caught without a driver’s license were written a citation and let go, Anderson said.

Now, officers must arrest a person if they lack proper identification, turning a routine and quick matter into a more time-consuming one.


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