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Bigotry may not be the only motive behind Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's rabidly xenophobic new immigration law. Another factor may be that timeless Republican standard: greed. Zaid Jilani of Think Progress explains:

Yet a new investigation by local Arizona TV news station CBS 5 finds that the Brewer administration may have ulterior motives for its strong support of the new law. The station has found that "two of Brewer’s top advisers have connections" to private prison giant Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).

Paul Senseman, Brewer’s deputy chief of staff, is a former lobbyist for CCA. His wife continues to lobby for the company. Meanwhile Chuck Coughlin, who leads her re-election campaign, chaired her transition into the governorship, and is one of the governor’s policy advisors, is president of HighGround Public Affairs Consultants, which lobbies for CCA.

The best of all possible Republican worlds: codify racism, and make money while doing so? From the CBS 5 website:

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.

CCA insists it had nothing to do with the creation of the new law, has no state or local contracts to house detainees, and doesn't propose to house those detained because of the new Arizona law. In other words, it will be purely coincidental if those swept up by the new law end up being held by the same private contractor the federal government pays to hold detainees in Arizona. It will be purely coincidental if those swept up by the new law end up being held by the same private contractor that once employed Brewer's deputy chief of staff as a lobbyist, still employs his wife as a lobbyist, and pays a company run by Brewer's re-election chief, transition chair, and policy advisor to lobby.

In the spirit of innocent-until-proven-guilty--something the new law's supporters might not understand--someone should ask the Brewer team how, exactly, they do propose to house those swept up by their new law, and who, exactly, will be paid to house them. There can't be many options, but who can imagine that it might somehow coincidentally end up being CCA?

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 06:30 AM PDT.

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