Georgia first to copy Arizona anti-immigrant bill

Georgia passes anti-immigrant law that benefits private prison companies.

Seth Freed Wessler wrote 15 April 2011, Welcome to the Wild, Wild South: Georgia Passes SB 1070 Copycat Bill

Many worry about the financial costs of the bill. Though these are surely not the greatest concerns for immigrant communities who would be most impacted if Georgia’s bill is enacted, many business groups are anxious. A national boycott of Arizona cost the state an estimated $250 million in lost taxes, tourism and other revenue, according to the Center for American Progress.

Even before the Georgia bill passed, a group of organizations across the country threatened to wage a boycott of the state of Georgia if it enacts the legislation.

Most states that have had this bill introduced have had the good sense to get rid of it.
This failure is despite a well-organized and well-funded strategy to move more such bills across the country. Those efforts, as NPR reported last year, have involved a national network of state legislators and private enterprise, including private prison and immigrant detention companies with clear interests in increasing the number of immigrant detainees.
What private prison companies? The one most active in Georgia is CCA. CCA, which has a “contract to manage detainee populations for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) at the North Georgia Detention Center in Hall County, Georgia”. CCA, which would thus be a direct beneficiary of this new anti-immigrant bill.

A bill that is not yet law, because the governor hasn’t signed it. Hall County is where Governor Deal just signed into law another bill that “would create a panel to study Georgia’s criminal justice system with an eye toward overhauling the state’s tough sentencing laws.” He can get a head start on that by vetoing this new sentencing law.

CCA is the company that wants to build a private prison in Lowndes County. How can the afford the tax dollars? How can Lowndes County afford the social costs?


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