Monday, March 26, 2012

A look at who is behind the Mississippi immigration legislation

I've touched on HB 488 a bit, which is Arizona/Alabama-style anti-immigrant legislation.  It cleared the House back on March 14th after a contentious debate, and now awaits committee assignment in the Senate.  The question has to be asked: why are non-border states like Alabama and Mississippi the hotbed of anti-immigrant legislation?  Well, it always helps to know who is pushing legislation.  In the case of HB 488, we can find out by looking at where its language came from.

HB 488 is a close relative of Alabama's law, which was based on Arizona's law.  A year and a half ago, after Arizona passed its anti-immigrant bill, NPR conducted an exhaustive review of campaign finance reports and other records.  Guess what they discovered?  ALEC, discussed on this blog several times before, held the meeting at which the idea for the Arizona bill was hatched.

Why is that important?  Well, Corrections Corporation of America, a longtime member of ALEC, was in on the meeting.  And according to NPR:
According to Corrections Corporation of America reports reviewed by NPR, executives believe immigrant detention is their next big market. Last year, they wrote that they expect to bring in "a significant portion of our revenues" from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that detains illegal immigrants.
So why the movement to pass anti-immigrant laws in Alabama and Mississippi all of a sudden?  Well, both states recently saw their Legislatures fall under the control of ALEC-backed legislators.

More to come on this today...

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