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Cross-post: Prison Economics Help Drive Ariz. Immigration Law


Imagine 2050 Staff • Oct 30, 2010

NPR broke an incredible story this week that is sure to continue unearthing the shady dealings behind the creation and passage of SB 1070 in Arizona. The following article was published on Oct. 28, 2010 by NPR reporter Laura Sullivan. To listen the podcast of this story click here.

State Sen. Pearce with a neo-Nazi

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.

Continue reading the article here.

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