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Alabama’s touchy immigration laws resulted in the arrest of a Mercedes-Benz executive who remains unnamed at this time. The Associated Press revealed that the German executive was stopped when driving a rental car that did not have tags and was then arrested and brought to police headquarters when he failed to provide the Alabama police officer with anything other than a German ID.
Only later was the executive released when an associate came to provide the authorities with his passport, visa, and German driver’s license from the hotel the German exec stayed at.
Mercedes-Benz has quite a presence in the state of Alabama since it first began to build vehicles in Tuscaloosa in 1993. Currently, the Mercedes-Benz facility produces the ML and R-Class vehicles. Alabama Governor Robert Bentley was said to have contacted State Homeland Security Director Spencer Collier for details the moment he was aware of the incident. Mercedes-Benz spokesperson Felyicia Jerald said the incident was “unfortunate” but assured it was resolved.
Seriously, how can we live in a country where this can happen? Last Saturday, Jonathan Schoenakase of Quincy, Illinois was arrested for operating the pictured vehicle, a courtesy shuttle home from local bars to keep drunk drivers off the road. Sounds like a good idea, right? Well, local taxi companies lobbied to make it illegal.
Jonathan’s friend was killed by a drunk driver in 2009, and as a way to keep drunks off the road, he started offering rides home. The rides were free, although he would accept tips. The business soon grew, adding a second car, and then the bus. Taxi companies, thinking Jonathan was taking their money, lobbied that he was operating a Taxi service without a license, and won. The Quincy Government removed the words “for hire” from its definitions of the words “Taxi Service,” thus eliminating the loophole under which Schoenakase was operating.
Schoenakase has applied for a license, but the local cops say he needs to clear up some “legal issues” before he is approved. He has continued to offer the service during this time, and has been arrested a total of three times for his efforts.
We understand the law is the law, but how can one guy, with one bus, driving drunks home as a tribute to his friend and saving countless lives in the process, get arrested repeatedly? How can a politician, or series of politicians, be corrupted so badly by local businesses that charity becomes illegal?
The worst part? A taxi license in Quincy, Illinois costs $10. No, really.