LIVE LINK:  IMMIGRATION IMPACT

By Seth Hoy

Today, NPR aired a story on a profiteering plot that watchdog groups have watched unfold for months—private prison corporations, who stand to make hundreds of millions in profits from the detention of immigrants, not only had a hand in drafting Arizona’s controversial immigration enforcement law, SB1070, but contributed millions to the bill’s cosponsors and continue to push the legislation in other states. While there’s nothing illegal about private industries drafting legislation, there is something particularly vile about watching state legislators like Russell Pearce (sponsor of SB1070) accept campaign contributions from prison industry lobbyists and then turn around and sell the legislation to the public as though he’s doing what’s right for America.

Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce is no stranger to the prison industry. According to NPR, Pearce met with a group called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an organization consisting of state legislators and powerful corporations like Reynolds American Inc., ExxonMobil and the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), last December to talk about how to generate more revenue from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

In the conference room, the group decided they would turn the immigration idea into a model bill. They discussed and debated language. Then, they voted on it. “There were no ‘no’ votes,” Pearce said. “I never had one person speak up in objection to this model legislation.” More