Nov 8, 2010
Arizona’s immigration law, passed last summer, requires police to detain any “suspected immigrant” they stop if the person cannot show proof that he or she has entered the U.S. legally. That could easily mean thousands and thousands of people being sent to prison – and millions of dollars in profit flowing into the coffers of companies that run private prisons.
So it comes as no surprise that the private for-profit prison industry played a big role in passing the law. Not only did they lobby for it; they basically wrote it at meetings of an organization called American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), whose members include state legislators and some big corporations and associations, including the tobacco company Reynolds, oil giant ExxonMobil, the National Rifle Association, as well as Corrections Corporation of America, the largest private prison company in the country.
Thirty-seven Arizona legislators sponsored the bill. Records show that 30 of them received donations from prison companies recently. And Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, who signed the bill into law, has her own connections with the prison industry – her spokesman Paul Senseman and her campaign manager Chuck Coughlin were lobbyists for private prison companies.
Politicians who attack immigrant workers pose as “patriots,” claiming to defend the interests of American workers. No – the only Americans these liars represent are the bosses, who use “patriotism” to fill their own pockets at the expense of all workers, immigrant and native-born alike.