Private corporations that own prisons were closely involved in the writing and passage of Arizona’s SB-1070 immigration law, according to a report heard on National Public Radio this week
Back in July Jan Brewer, the state governor, justified the adoption of the shockingly anti-immigrant bill by saying that "law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert either buried or just lying out there that have been beheaded."
But it turns out that it may have been bucks, and not beheadings, that drove the bill. At the very least NPR's report is strongly questioning the governors motives.
Through an organization called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), NPR reports that the private-prison industry helped shape the bill, presumably to increase their own revenue by mandating that the undocumented be incarcerated in large numbers.
That bill eventually became Arizona’s controversial new SB-1070 immigration law.
According to NPR the Corrections Corporation of America sees incarcerating large numbers of undocumented immigrants as its next big market, providing “a significant portion of our revenues,” according to company documents quoted in the article.
So jailing undocumented Mexicans isn't just a patriotic duty, it could also be really profitable, apparently. In fact it could mean hundreds of millions of dollars in profits to the private prison companies responsible for housing them.
And we're supposed to believe that consideration wasn't a factor? There are between 350,000 to 450,000 undocumented immigrants in the state, depending on whose figures you believe. Looking at them, some see desperate people trying to make a life for themselves, and other's see a rich opportunity.
Two-thirds of the Arizona immigration bills co-sponsors are either members of the ALEC group or were said to be present at the meeting when the idea for the bill was first introduced, NPR claims. 30 of the 36 co-sponsors received campaign donations from private prisons or private-prison lobbyists in the months after the bill was introduced.
If you follow the money, what is it saying?
When the bill was introduced Governor Brewer became something of a celebrity to the many anti-immigrant groups around the nation.
I wonder what they'll make of her now that NPR appears to be suggesting it may have been pesos and not principles that were really at work?