Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Clandestine drafting of Arizona immigration law

A couple of weeks ago I found an investigation npr did not the Arizona immigration law that was passed through its state legislature in April of 2010. SB 1070 allows police authorities to stop and request at random, citizenship information/identification from anyone in public. The law encourages racial profiling and targets people of color specifically. If caught without proper paperwork of legal residency in the US, a person is liable to get arrested and be deported. This law raised quite a bit of controversy in the US. Recently, npr did an investigation and found that the private prison industry played a major role in the drafting and initiation of this bill. When I first read this article, I wondered what prisons might have to do with the bill. Apparently, Glenn Nichols, the city manager of a small town in Arizona was approached by two men from the private prison industry. They were selling a prison for immigrant/illegal women and children. They argued that per woman or child imprisoned, the town would be making a lot of money. Npr found that prison companies devised this plan to lock up illegal immigrants so they could make consistent profit off the prisoners. This plan was drafted into a bill and passed as a law. It was backed by many of the state’s officials who supported it on the grounds that it was a safety measure. The notion that a state can derive revenue from locking up illegal immigrants is not only racist but also sexist. Not only are all immigrant women, children and men threatened with deportation, they are also subject to serious racial profiling in public spaces. The private prison system is of course shady because it aims to make money off of prisoners. Its newest design is manipulative and interestingly, relies on illegal immigrants. While national dominant rhetoric often implicates illegal immigrants for plaguing the country, private prisons use the animosity towards immigrants to make money. Under the pretense of ‘safe neighborhood’ act, the bill passed through the Arizona legislature. What is extremely interesting is the profit motive behind locking innocent people up. The infringement of basic human right to privacy is evident because anyone of color is liable to be an illegal immigrant. That the private prison system and the state profit from the ‘safe neighborhood act’ is strengthened by the evidence npr collected.

Check out the story http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130833741
Also, check out the article http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130833741&sc=emaf

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