Tag Archives: HB 87

Bloomberg discovers mandated prison beds for CCA profit

The feds also fell for CCA’s prison snakeoil; it’s not just for states like Georgia.

William Selway & Margaret Newkirk wrote for Bloomberg 24 September 2013, Congress Mandates Jail Beds for 34,000 Immigrants as Private Prisons Profit,

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.

Under law, taxpayers must pay Continue reading

ALEC behind Georgia charter school referendum

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?

Salvatore Colleluori & Brian Powell wrote for MediaMatters 9 May 2012, How ALEC Is Quietly Influencing Education Reform In Georgia,

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?

But wait! There’s more…. Lee Fang wrote for Republic Report 14 May 2012, Charter School Lobby Group Quits ALEC Two Days After Being Identified By Republic Report,

Continue reading

CCA charges inmates five days’ pay for one telephone minute

That’s $1 a day in pay and $5 a telephone minute. While CCA is collecting as much as $200 a day per inmate in your tax dollars and CCA’s CEO is compensated $3,266,387 from your tax dollars.

Amanda Peterson Beadle wrote for ThinkProgress 16 November 2011, Private Prison Charges Inmates $5 a Minute for Phone Calls While They Work for $1 a Day

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.

They charge for food, too.

And remember, CCA profits from anti-immigration laws, at taxpayer expense:

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?

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


Gary Black starts to see reason on HB 87

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 somewhere,”
Also in Galloway’s AJC column yesterday, Gary Black and the shifting debate over illegal immigration, Black won’t back off HB 87, but admits it’s the source of the problem:
The state agriculture commissioner is walking a fine line. “Let me be clear. My position from a standpoint of amnesty and pathways to citizenship has not changed one iota,” he said.

Nor has Black renounced HB 87. Rather, state efforts to enforce federal immigration laws — blocked as a consequence of lawsuits — have contributed to “a sea change” in Washington’s attitude, he said.

“Without HB 87 and some of the other proposals, I don’t know that we’d be having this discussion about changing the guest-worker program,” Black said.

Black seems to have organized some interesting timing of a report release by his department: Continue reading

Time to divest from private prison companies

It’s time to stop private prison profiteering by refusing to take their profit: divest private prison company stock from personal, pension, and church funds.

There’s no need to speculate that private prison companies have incentive to keep more people locked up: CCA says so. Kanya D’Almeida wrote for IPS 24 August 2011, ‘Profiteers of Misery’: The U.S. Private Prison Industrial Complex:

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.”

What’s this got to do with Georgia? Continue reading

Another anti-HB 87 rally gets national coverage

AP story in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, Opponents of GA immigration law rally at Capitol:
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.”

The Washington Examiner included a byline, by Kate Brumback, and an AP photo:
Ben Speight, a local Teamsters organizer, echoed those sentiments and said labor groups must get involved.

“Let’s get in the way of hate. Let’s build a social movement,” he said, to loud cheers. “Labor cannot be isolated. We’ve got to reach out to the community and stand up against hate.”

Weekly rallies; an interesting development on a subject that unites urban union members and rural farmers.


We believe the entire law needs to be overturned —UUCA

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 timely way.

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.

Rev. Anthony David

Rev. Marti Keller

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta

HB 87 feeds private prison profit at taxpayer and farmer expense. We don’t need a private prison in Lowndes County, Georgia: spend that tax money on rehabilitation and education instead.


Anti-HB 87 rally makes national news

Ten thousand or so people marching who mostly never did before. Google news finds 267 articles like this one.

AP reports today, Thousands rally against Ga. immigration law:

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.


GA farm worker story goes international

Ray Glier wrote for Agence France Press 23 June 2011, US farms at risk as workers flee immigration law
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 working here.

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 strict measures.

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

HB 87 partly blocked by judge

Kate Brumback wrote for AP today, Judge blocks parts of Ga. immigration law
A federal judge on Monday blocked parts of Georgia’s law cracking down on illegal immigration from taking effect until a legal challenge is resolved.

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.

And he left other parts intact.


PS: Owed to Steve Perkins.