On Wednesday, April 25, our nation's Supreme Court heard the case regarding Arizona's anti-immigrant SB 1070. How it rules will have a major impact on civil rights in this country. The Supreme Court will decide if each state can make up its own policies regarding immigration matters, or if our federal government will continue to set nation-wide policies regarding immigration issues. We urge the Court to strike down SB 1070 as a statement that our nation stands up for civil rights, not bigotry and political opportunism.
The Supreme Court's decision will have an impact on our state of Illinois, where the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) is lobbying to build a new private immigration detention center just south of Chicago. Private prisons are a growth industry in our nation, a nation which leads the world in the percentage of our population in the criminal justice system, either awaiting trial, locked up, or on probation. CCA helped to draft and promote SB1070, no doubt as a way of making sure that draconion laws help keep their private prisons and detention centers full of human beings, and thus keep their profits high through per head payments from the federal and state goverments—that is, from us taxpayers.
If the Supreme Court upholds the Arizona law, more states will feel emboldened to pass their own copycat laws, meaning thousands of people who "look like illegal immigrants" (hint: darker-skinned people) being detained, and more demand for detention centers to be built and run by private prison companies like CCA –and still more money flowing into their corporate coffers as they continue to profit from human suffering.
Is this what we want in our country?