5. Private Prison Companies Fund Anti–Immigrant Legislation
Over the past four years roughly a million immigrants have been incarcerated in dangerous detention facilities in our taxpayer-financed private prison system where children were abused, women were raped and men died from lack of basic medical attention. Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer received substantial campaign financing from Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group, the nation’s two largest companies that design, build, finance and operate prisons. CCA, based in Nashville, TN, and Geo Group, a global corporation based in Boca Raton, FL, are the principal moving forces in the behind-the-scenes organization of the current wave of anti-immigrant legislative efforts.
Both CCA and GEO which rely almost exclusively on revenue from tax dollars at local state, and federal levels, profited from the incarceration of immigrants apprehended by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). CCA’s top management in Tennessee contributed the largest block of out-of-state campaign contributions received by Governor Brewer. Brewer employs as aides two former CCA lobbyists, who assisted signing SB 1070 into law on April 23rd. CCA, which already has several detention facilities in Arizona and is hoping to expand its immigrant business in that state, is expected to show a huge increase in revenues when SB 1070 is implemented.
“Wall Street & Our Campaign to Decriminalize Immigrants,” Peter Cervantes-Gautschi,
Social Policy: Organizing for Social and Economic Justice, February 14, 2011.