When we say that certain draconian laws are pushed through state legislatures by the prison industry—which seeks to lock up people for profit—we aren’t exaggerating. The following article thoroughly documents how Arizona’s controversial immigration law was rammed home by the prison industry.
Of all the subjects we cover at “Government Against the People,” nothing illustrates our central message more clearly than this one. It is a straightforward example of a commercial interest paying government officials to abuse people for profit, in this instance by taking away their freedom.
Last year, two men showed up in Benson, Ariz., a small desert town 60 miles from the Mexico border, offering a deal.
Glenn Nichols, the Benson city manager, remembers the pitch.
“The gentleman that’s the main thrust of this thing has a huge turquoise ring on his finger,” Nichols said. “He’s a great big huge guy and I equated him to a car salesman.”
What he was selling was a prison for women and children who were illegal immigrants.
“They talk [about] how positive this was going to be for the community,” Nichols said, “the amount of money that we would realize from each prisoner on a daily rate.”
But Nichols wasn’t buying. He asked them how would they possibly keep a prison full for years — decades even — with illegal immigrants?
“They talked like they didn’t have any doubt they could fill it,” Nichols said.
That’s because prison companies like this one had a plan — a new business model to lock up illegal immigrants. And the plan became Arizona’s immigration law.
Read more at NPR.
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