A Japanese Honda employee recently visited a manufacturing plant in Alabama -- and was ticketed for not having a state driver's license. Officials say the man had a valid Japanese passport and an international driver's license, but was still ticketed because he was violating the state's tough immigration law, HB 56.
A person with knowledge of the case says told the Associated Press the Honda employee was ticketed at a routine police roadblock. Honda officials say the employee is working with authorities to resolve the matter.
The Honda employee ticket comes just two weeks after a German Mercedes-Benz executive visiting Alabama was arrested for a traffic violation because he was only able to produce a German photo ID. Before H.B. 56 went into effect earlier this year, the man would've probably been given a citation and a court summons.
Alabama is home to several European and Asian car manufacturing plants, including Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Toyota and Hyundai. On November 14, Honda celebrated their tenth anniversary in Alabama and Governor Robert Bentley -- who signed H.B 56 in to law -- was there to honor the Japanese car company.
Honda Manufacturing of Alabama announced that it would invest an additional $84 million, hire 100 new full-time associates and increase annual production capacity to 340,000 vehicles and engines in the state. They might be rethinking that now.