Friday, July 30, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
A while back I posted that I was tempering my outrage about SB 1070 because I was confident that the courts would find much of the law unconstitutional. And today, Judge Susan Bolton made the ruling:
PHOENIX -- A federal judge this morning blocked several provisions of Arizona's new immigration law from taking effect.
Sections barred from being enforced include:
- Requiring a police officer to make a reasonable attempt to check the immigration status of those they have stopped;
- Forbidding police from releasing anyone they have arrested until that person's immigration status is determined;
- Making it a violation of Arizona law for anyone not a citizen to fail to carry documenation;
- Creating a new state crime for trying to secure work while not a legal resident;
- Allowing police to make warrantless arrests if there is a belief the person has committed an offense that allows them to be removed from the United States.
U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton rejected arguments by attorneys for the Department of Justice that other sections of SB 1070 are preempted by federal law. These include creating a separate state crime making it illegal to transport or harbor an illegal immigrant and changes in law dealing with impoundment of vehicles that are used to transport those not in the country legally.
I'm sure the case will go all the way to the Supreme Court, but for now the worst provisions of the law have been blocked. And that is good news.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Gov. Brewer's support for S.B. 1070 is easy to understand: just follow the money. Yup, her people stand to make a tidy profit jailing brown people:
This Thursday, SB-1070, Arizona’s radical new immigration law, will go into effect. Despite an incoming lawsuit from the Obama administration’s Department of Justice, Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) has maintained that her state “will prevail,” claiming that she is simply defending the border integrity and safety of her state.
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.
This is important because CCA currently “holds the federal contract to house detainees in Arizona.” CBS 5 notes that the company currently bills $11 billion a month to the state of Arizona and that, if SB-1070 is successfully implemented, its profits would be significantly padded as it would take responsibility for imprisoning immigrants arrested by Arizona police.
The company maintains that it “unequivocally, did not at any time lobby — nor did we have any outside consultants lobby — anyone in Arizona on the immigration law,” but direct lobbying would not be necessary with allies like Senseman and Coughlin working directly for Brewer.
Coughlin, in particular, has a history of boasting about the influence he has had on the state government on behalf of private business. In an interview earlier this month, he bragged about privatizing the commercial garbage business in Mesa, Arizona, by coordinating with industry lobbyists. He told the interviewer, “I can make [expletive] happen.”
And this isn't even considered corruption here in Arizona, just business as usual. Absolutely despicable. In a just world, Jan Brewer would get to experience the joys of a "for profit" prison.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
NOVOZAVIDOVO, Russia People in this Russian town used to stare at Jean Gregoire Sagbo because they had never seen a black man. Now they say they see in him something equally rare – an honest politician.
Sagbo last month became the first black to be elected to office in Russia.
In a country where racism is entrenched and often violent, Sagbo’s election as one of Novozavidovo’s 10 municipal councilors is a milestone. But among the town’s 10,000 people, the 48-year-old from the West African country of Benin is viewed simply a Russian who cares about his hometown.