Yesterday in Arizona, the good guys for the most part won.
The key issue before U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton in the case is as old as the nation itself: Does federal law trump state law? She indicated in her ruling that the federal government’s case has a good chance at succeeding.
The Clinton appointee said the controversial sections should be put on hold until the courts resolve the issues, including parts that required officers to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws.
In her preliminary injunction, Bolton delayed provisions that required immigrants to carry their papers and banned illegal immigrants from soliciting employment in public places – a move aimed at day laborers.
The judge also blocked officers from making warrantless arrests of suspected illegal immigrants for crimes that can lead to deportation.
Again, it doesn’t strike down the law, it just means some of the nastier provisions of it on hold until the case is heard by a higher court. Possibly the Supreme Court.
In the meantime, something hinky about Gov. Jan Brewer’s support of the law has come to light. (From KPHO.com.)
In the meantime, a CBS 5 News investigation revealed that there is one business that could profit from the implementation of SB 1070 and similar immigration measures. The private prison industry houses illegal immigrant detainees for the federal government. Those companies could gain contracts with state and local agencies to house illegal immigrants arrested for state violations.
Corrections Corporation of America, or CCA, holds the federal contract to house detainees in Arizona. The company bills $11 million per month. CBS 5 Investigates learned that two of Brewer’s top advisers have connections to CCA.Paul Senseman is the governor’s deputy chief of staff. He is also a former lobbyist for CCA. His wife is listed as a current lobbyist for the company.Chuck Coughlin is one of the governor’s policy advisers and her campaign chairman. Coughlin’s company, HighGround Public Affairs Consultants, currently lobbies for CCA.
CCA issued the following statement to CBS 5 Investigates:“CCA, unequivocally, did not at any time lobby — nor did we have any outside consultants lobby — anyone in Arizona on the immigration law. Nor are we proposing to house detainee immigrants as a result of SB 1070. We currently have no contracts with the State or any counties. CCA very proudly does have a presence in Arizona, as we own and operate six correctional facilities, employing more than 2,500 Arizona residents. These contracts are with other state and federal jurisdictions.”
Wait a minute? Private prisons? Where have I heard that phrase before? Oh, yeah. This year’s season opener to “Leverage”.
“But Richard”, you may say, “That’s just a TV Show, there’s no way something like that could happen in America, really.”
To which I throw you the actual words of the show’s creator and writer, John Rogers.
Via his blog, “Kung Fu Monkey”.
One of my favorite moments concerning 301 was when we were screening the episode, and I was sitting next to a very conservative friend. (Yes, I have those.) When the corporate prison pay-for-prisoners scam was explained in the episode, he threw a sidelong glance at me. I shrugged. “We didn’t change that much from the real case, sadly.”
A beat. “Wait, that really happened?”
“A little tweaked, but yeah.”
A longer beat. “In America?”
So, the question remains. Is Jan Brewer supporting this law in a cynical attempt to win votes or in a cynical attempt to line her pockets. Either way, I have a feeling cynicism is going to be involved.
EDIT: 6:51 A.M. The Embed is not working. Here’s the link to the show.