The other immigration reaction

Probably everybody has heard that Alabama followed Georgia down the Arizona lock-’em-up anti-immigration path.

According to Albor Ruiz in the New York Daily News, 12 June 2011,

Washington’s inaction on the immigration crisis is no longer sprouting only hostile and inhumane local laws. But there is growing evidence an increasing number of local and state officials have tired of playing an abusive and costly anti-immigration game they don’t believe in.

Two weeks ago, Gov. Cuomo pulled New York State from the Secure Communities federal deportation program, following Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn who had done the same weeks before. And days after Cuomo’s decision Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick took the same courageous step. All three governors are Democrats and strong allies of President Obama.

They had plenty of reasons to quit the controversial Department of Homeland Security program. Promoted as a tool to deport undocumented immigrants convicted of serious crimes, in reality Secure Communities targets mostly low-level offenders or those never convicted of any crime at all.

And who benefits by arresting such people? Private prison companies, which hold the new prisoners.

It’s not just northeast state, either. Here’s a city and state on the frontline of immigration, Los Angeles, California:

Last week, the Los Angeles City Council called for the city to opt out of Secure Communities, and on Friday California Congress members Xavier Becerra, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Judy Chu and Bernard Parks asked Gov. Jerry Brown to suspend California’s participation in the program. Their main concern is the program’s effect on the reporting of crime by victims and witnesses in immigrant communities. The four legislators are also Democrats and Obama supporters.
Georgia doesn’t have to keep falling for ALEC’s scaremongering for the benefit of private prison companies.

We don’t need a private prison in Lowndes County, Georgia. Spend those tax dollars on education instead.