Noemi Romero, who came to the U.S. illegally at age 3, was arrested
in January working at a Phoenix grocery store, where she used
someone else’s name to get the job.
Romero, a 21-year-old who likes to draw and dance, spent the next
four months behind bars, almost half of it in a cramped cell at a
1,596-bed detention center in Eloy, Arizona, run by Corrections
Corp. of America. The company, with Geo Group Inc. (GEO) and other
for-profit prison operators, holds almost two-thirds of all
immigrants detained each day in federally funded prisons as they
face deportation, U.S. data show.
ALEC has been pushing charter schools in Georgia, both through “our state legislators” sponsoring bills and through the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA). We already got that private prison customer law HB 87 from ALEC; why would we want to approve an ALEC-sponsored law to let Atlanta siphon public school money to charter schools?
Georgia media have been silent as members of ALEC in Georgia’s legislature have successfully pushed through a version of ALEC’s Charter Schools Act, which would create a state-controlled board with the power to establish and fund charter schools over local opposition. A Media Matters analysis found that while Georgia media have frequently written about the bills, they have completely overlooked ALEC’s influence in the debate.
The article details how at least two of the statehouse sponsors of the relevant bills are ALEC members: Speaker Pro Tempore Jan Jones R 46 and Majority Whip Edward Lindsey R 54. Remember them, from the list of Georgia Legislators with ALEC Ties? You thought maybe that list was hypothetical and of little effect? Nope, these bills echo ALEC model charter school legislation, and these ALEC legislators actively pushed them into law. Plus look at the titles these two legislators have on their own legislative websites: Speaker Pro Tempore and Majority Whip. How close is that to our legislature being owned lock, stock, and barrel by ALEC?
Last year the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the nation’s
largest private prison company, received $74 million of taxpayers’ money
to run immigration detention centers.
Georgia, receives $200 a night for each of the 2,000 detainees it holds,
and rakes in yearly profits between $35 million and $50 million.
Prisoners held in this remote facility depend on the prison’s phones
to communicate with their lawyers and loved ones. Exploiting inmates’
need, CCA charges detainees here $5 per minute to make phone calls. Yet
the prison only pays inmates who work at the facility $1 a day. At that
rate, it would take five days to pay for just one minute.
Recent anti-immigration laws in Alabama (HB56) and Georgia (HB87)
guarantee that neighbor facilities will have an influx of “product.”
In the past few years, CCA has spent $14.8 million lobbying for
anti-immigration laws to ensure they have continuous access to fresh
inmates and keep their money racket going. In 2010 CCA CEO Damon
T. Hininger received $3,266,387 in total compensation.
Private CEO profit for public injustice.
Does that seem right to you?
Jim Galloway quotes GA Ag. Commissioner Gary Black:
“One of the discussions we have to have is, do we want to have our
food produced here or somewhere else? I don’t think Wal-Mart is
going to cease to carry cucumbers. I think they’re going to get them
CCA’s 2010 annual report states categorically that, “The demand for our
facilities and services could be adversely affected by the relaxation
of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction or parole standards
and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain
activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws — for
instance, any changes with respect to drugs and controlled substances
or illegal immigration could affect the number of persons arrested,
convicted, and sentenced, thereby potentially reducing demand for
correctional facilities to house them.”
CCA continues, “Legislation has been proposed in numerous jurisdictions
that could lower minimum sentences for some non-violent crimes and
make more inmates eligible for early release based on good behaviour,
(while) sentencing alternatives under consideration could put some
offenders on probation who would otherwise be incarcerated. Similarly,
reductions in crime rates or resources dedicated to prevent and enforce
crime could lead to reductions in arrests, convictions and sentences
requiring incarceration at correctional facilities.”
Several hundred people, mostly labor union members, rallied Saturday
at the Georgia Capitol against the state’s new law targeting illegal
immigrants. It was the latest in a string of actions by opponents to
protest the law.
The Rev. Al Sharpton told the crowd the law violates civil and human
rights and will lead to racial profiling of U.S. citizens and others
who are in the country legally.
“We’re going to stop it here before it goes any further to other
communities,” the New York-based minister and civil rights activist
said. “We cannot have a nation where, based on your language or your race,
determines your rights. Your rights must be determined by the fact that
we’re all equal.”
Another Sunday, another religious group against the incarceration machine.
Jane Osborn sent this, dated 27 June 2011:
Editorial Statement to Atlanta Journal Constitution
Here is the statement Rev. Anthony David and Rev. Marti Keller sent to
the Atlanta Journal Constitution editorial page editor today following
the federal court ruling placing an injunction on parts of HB 87. We of
course do not know if it will be published, but wanted to respond in a
As Unitarian Universalist ministers, we affirm justice, equity and
compassion in human relations. We applaud the federal judge who halted
several parts of Georgia’s anti-immigration law, but we believe the
entire law needs to be overturned. It cannot substitute for
comprehensive immigration reform at a national level. The law in its
entirety is unjust, fear-based, and inhumane.
Thousands of marchers stormed the Georgia Capitol on Saturday to protest
the state’s new immigration law, which they say creates an unwelcome
environment for people of color and those in search of a better life.
Men, women and children of all ages converged on downtown Atlanta for the
march and rally, cheering speakers while shading themselves with umbrellas
and posters from the blazing summer sun. Capitol police and organizers
estimated that between 8,000 and 14,000 protesters gathered. They filled
the blocks around the Capitol, holding signs decrying House Bill 87 and
reading “Immigration Reform Now!”
Friends Jessica Bamaca and Melany Cordero held a poster that read:
“How would you feel if your family got broken apart?”
And remember, HB 87 has many provisions that bring “customers”
to CCA’s ICE prison.
We don’t need to feed the incarceration machine with a private prison in Lowndes County, Georgia.
Spend that tax money on rehabilitation and education instead.
ATLANTA, Georgia (AFP) – A controversial immigration law in the US
state of Georgia has brought unintended results, forcing farmers to
reluctantly turn to ex-convicts as Latin American manual workers flee.
Low-skilled, undocumented workers, who for years have formed the backbone
of this southern state’s farming economy, have bolted in the lead-up
to the law taking effect on July 1, fearing deportation if caught
The measure’s mainly Republican supporters argue that the state needs
to enforce immigration laws in the absence of effective federal action,
saying schools, jails and hospitals are overburdened by illegal aliens.
But as the full cost of the immigration reform emerges in the form of
an estimated millions of dollars worth of crops rotting in fields, it
could alarm other states that have passed or are considering similar
The story quotes the figure of 11,000 needed workers,
and quotes some farmers about that the state’s scheme to
send people on probation to work on farms:
Continue reading →
A federal judge on Monday blocked parts of Georgia’s law cracking down
on illegal immigration from taking effect until a legal challenge is
Judge Thomas Thrash granted a request to block parts of the law that
penalize people who knowingly and willingly transport or harbor illegal
immigrants while committing another crime. He also blocked provisions
that authorize officers to verify the immigration status of someone who
can’t provide proper identification.
Thrash wrote that under parts of the law, the state is enforcing
immigration law that should be left to the federal government.