ALEC on NPR’s Fresh Air!

July 21, 2011
Dollar Bill across American Flag

Link to Program is HERE:  Who’s Really Writing States’ Legislation?

A group called ALEC — the American Legislative Exchange Council — “is at the forefront of an effort to push business-friendly, conservative legislation at the state level,” says reporter John Nichols. He discusses what recently leaked documents reveal about the organization.



July 21, 2011

The Arizona SB 1070 legislation has sparked great enthusiasm from many other state legislators who want to pass similar immigration laws.  But is it not curious that Nashville had an unusually large influence on this controversial Arizona law?  CCA, also known as Corrections Corporation of America, is a Nashville based company that owns prisons and detention centers.  Managing more than 60 facilities, the CCA is now the largest partnership corrections company in the United States.

The private prison companies owned by CCA received donations from corporations and lobbyists that were members of ALEC, the conservative fiscal reform organization who drafted Arizona SB 1070.

One of the founders of CCA is none other than T. Don Hutto, whose Texas for-profit detention center by the same name was infamous for subjecting immigrants to inhumane conditions.

For more information on CCA, please visit these links:

CCA Website

CCA, immigration, and ALEC: the long-brewing national story

The Key Players: ALEC, Detention Centers, and Congress

June 29, 2011

Here is a convenient diagram that reveals the corrupt alliance behind the SB 1070 Arizona immigration law:

More video of arrests of undocumented workers

June 28, 2011

Illegal work/ Illegal working conditions

June 28, 2011

This video nicely encapsulates the multiple strands of illegality that converge on the issue of undocumented workers.  700 people arrested and detained for working illegally and having used false identity papers; at the same time, the meatpacking company for which they work is being investigated for violation of health and safety laws, child labor violations, allegations of sexual harassment, and for withholding pay from their workers (who, being undocumented, have no legal standing to sue for withheld wages).  If you’ve read Fast Food Nation the story of the meatpacking plant conditions will be familiar.

Video of infamous AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio

June 28, 2011

Makes the people he arrests live in tents in the Arizona heat and wear pink underwear (To humiliate them?  To brand them?  Just ‘cuz he can?)

Stories of Detention: Jerry’s Story

June 22, 2011

Jerry’s Story:   This article by Nina Bernstein of the New York Times reports on a green card holding legal resident who spent 3 years in jail awaiting a deportation hearing after a misdemeanor drug offense, because that offense, in combination with an earlier drug arrest, added up to what the government considered an “aggravated felony” that required automatic deportation.  The article’s description of the government’s handling of the case–including considering his earlier minor drug offense a “conviction” even though the case had been dismissed–is positively Kafkaesque.

Many immigrants got caught in this draconian interpretation of the law.  But there is now a potential remedy (if they appear before a sympathetic immigration judge):  in July of 2010 the  Supreme Court determined that  legal residents with minor drug convictions are eligible to have an immigration judge weigh their offenses against other factors in their lives and decide whether to let them stay.  The full story is here:  Bernstein on Supreme Court Ruling