Immigration Newsletter

Friday, October 29, 2010

Prison Economics Help Drive Ariz. Immigration Law : NPR

Prison Economics Help Drive Ariz. Immigration Law : NPR: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

"NPR spent the past several months analyzing hundreds of pages of campaign finance reports, lobbying documents and corporate records. What they show is a quiet, behind-the-scenes effort to help draft and pass Arizona Senate Bill 1070 by an industry that stands to benefit from it: the private prison industry.
The law could send hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to prison in a way never done before. And it could mean hundreds of millions of dollars in profits to private prison companies responsible for housing them.
...Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce says the bill was his idea. He says it's not about prisons. It's about what's best for the country.
...It was last December at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. Inside, there was a meeting of a secretive group called the American Legislative Exchange Council. Insiders call it ALEC.
It's a membership organization of state legislators and powerful corporations and associations, such as the tobacco company Reynolds American Inc., ExxonMobil and the National Rifle Association. Another member is the billion-dollar Corrections Corporation of America — the largest private prison company in the country.
It was there that Pearce's idea took shape.
...Pearce and the Corrections Corporation of America have been coming to these meetings for years. Both have seats on one of several of ALEC's boards.
And this bill was an important one for the company. According to Corrections Corporation of America reports reviewed by NPR, executives believe immigrant detention is their next big market. Last year, they wrote that they expect to bring in "a significant portion of our revenues" from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that detains illegal immigrants.
...Four months later, that model legislation became, almost word for word, Arizona's immigration law.
...By April, the bill was on Gov. Jan Brewer's desk.
Brewer has her own connections to private prison companies. State lobbying records show two of her top advisers — her spokesman Paul Senseman and her campaign manager Chuck Coughlin — are former lobbyists for private prison companies. Brewer signed the bill — with the name of the legislation Pearce, the Corrections Corporation of America and the others in the Hyatt conference room came up with — in four days."
RAD~ The best government money can buy is clearly not the best government. I wonder who will be the next "threat to our society" that will need to be detained to boost corporate profits? The smart money is on Muslims who apparently dress up in order to scare people like Fox News "Opinioneer" Juan Williams.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Senators lay down marker with detailed immigration overhaul bill (9/30/10) --

Senators lay down marker with detailed immigration overhaul bill (9/30/10) -- "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

From a publication I have not read before called "government executive" worth a look.

Two key Democratic senators have introduced comprehensive legislation that would overhaul the nation's immigration laws, giving Latino voters and immigration advocates a parting gift heading into November's midterm elections.

The bill, introduced late Wednesday by Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., as the Senate prepared to begin its pre-election recess, is largely viewed as a marker to help spur consideration of an overhaul of immigration laws and policy when the new Congress convenes in January.

Lawmakers and aides privately concede it is highly unlikely that Congress would take up immigration reform in the post-election lame-duck session.

But the Menendez-Leahy bill makes good on campaign promises by congressional Democrats to try to advance changes in immigration laws.

The bill covers the three main areas that immigration advocates say must be part of any comprehensive package: beefed-up enforcement of the nation's immigration laws; a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the country; and a system for bringing temporary workers into the country to meet the needs of employers.

It essentially puts legislative language to an immigration overhaul blueprint laid out by Senate Democratic leaders earlier this year. The bill would create a process under which an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the country could obtain their citizenship.

But it would require that increased border security measures and provisions to better enforce the nation's immigration laws are met before illegal immigrants can apply for legal status. And the bill specifies that illegal immigrants cannot jump ahead of those who have been waiting in line for their citizenship.

The bill would also create an independent commission to determine quotas for employment-based work visa programs. The idea of creating a commission is controversial, as business groups fear the panel would favor labor interests over the needs of employers.

The bill also includes the so-called AgJobs provision, which would overhaul the work visa system for agriculture workers, and the so-called DREAM Act, which would enable certain young adults who were brought to the United States illegally as minors to obtain their green cards.