June 29, 2011

“Limited Government, Free Markets, Federalism” – this is the tagline for the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization that has helped draft model bills for conservative legislators to introduce to Congress for the past forty years.  But this is no Tea Party – the exclusive organization is primarily comprised of wealthy owners of mega corporations, including the Koch brothers and Jack Kemp.  This tax-exempt organization introduces 1000 pieces of legislation during each legislative cycle, and 18% of these bills are passed into law.  One of their most controversial laws? – None other than SB 1070, the 2010 Arizona immigration law, or as they called it, the “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act”.

Worst of all, several members of the private prison industry collaborated with ALEC to lobby for SB 1070.  Thus, it appears that Congress, the major corporations, and prison detention centers have become intertwined in this deplorable business deal to secure power over poor migrant workers, all in the name of “law enforcement and safe neighborhoods”.

For more information about ALEC, read this Source Watch page:

Source Watch

And check out this revealing article from Salon:

Private Prison Industry Helped Draft Arizona Immigration Law


More video of arrests of undocumented workers

June 28, 2011

Slideshow: Images of Immigrants under arrest

June 28, 2011

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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?)

T. Don Hutto Fast Facts

June 22, 2011
  • The T. Don Hutto facility (located in Taylor, TX) was originally a medium security prison.  After being “converted” into an immigration detention center, it held men, women (some pregnant), children, and infants from May 2006 to September 2009. Administered by the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA-“America’s Leader in Partnership Corrections”), the country’s largest for-profit corrections company, the center now holds around 500 adult women, many of whom are seeking asylum.
  • Here’s a link to America’s Family Prison, a 17 minute film about Hutto, made while it was still a “family residential detention center.”
  • In August of 2010 women inmates brought allegations of sexual assault and harassment against an employee of CCA.
  • The average cost of detaining an immigrant is approximately $122 per person/ per day. Alternatives to detention, which generally include a combination of reporting and electronic monitoring, are effective and significantly cheaper, with some programs costing as little as $12 per day. These alternatives to detention still yield an estimated 93% appearance rate before the immigration courts.
  • Every month the CCA gets around $2.8 million in federal tax dollars to run T. Don Hutto.  In 2009, CCA earned $1.67 billion in revenue with a net income of $155 million.  Here’s a link to more info on the money trail.