Robert Greenwald is a producer, director, political activist, and Brave New Films founder and president.
Georgia is the latest state to pass an anti-immigrant bill like SB1070, with Governor Deal expected to sign it tomorrow. Georgia is also home to the largest private prison in the country.
Coincidence? Not even close.
It’s hardly a secret that private prison corporations like Corrections Corporation of America and The GEO group, along with right-wing lobbying group ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) and a few pocketed state legislators like Russell Pearce in Arizona, have been at it–deliberately promoting and designing laws aimed at incarcerating immigrants and turning the prison system into an incredibly lucrative business.
Just last year the private prison industry secured close to $5 billion through state and government elicited contracts of which an increasing percentage is attributed to migrant detention facilities and bed spaces. An NPR report outlined how CCA aims to translate the anti-immigrant rhetoric and political void into a long-lasting cash drive–believing that immigrants will provide a fresh influx of ‘guests’ in their less then onerous ‘hotel’ cells. Even worse, CCA founder Tomas Beasly once called his scheme ‘more profitable’ than selling burgers or cars–a clear indication that any sense of justice in the prison industry will be forever trumped by cash flows and profit margins.
It is clear that for CCA, along with the GEO Group and Management and Training, immigrants are a product–one that is for sale to the highest vendor. They view locked-up immigrants as the next big share jump, stock option, bonus incentive, or any other motive that tickles their multi-billion dollar fancy. They have no shame admitting so–every year the private prison industry gets together for a major convention to essentially design strategies that will fill the more then 150,000 bed spaces they currently own.
There is always one question that lingers: What happens once these spaces are filled? Their answer: -Get the IMMIGRANTS. There will forever be an immigration issue–so what better way to stay in business? Round-em up like cattle, shackle them up by feet and hands and throw them in a cell where they’ll most likely get lost in a system ill-designed to provide justice to anyone except their self-serving patrons.
What is even more disappointing is that government officials–from the state and local levels to the federal administration–have decided to abandon any possibility for real comprehensive immigration approach. Instead they continue to allow profit-seeking corporations to fill the gaps left by inadequate policy, offering up YOUR tax dollars and creating yet another industry bubble that uses immigrant persecution as their main throttle.
The immigration debate needs a serious, integrated national and foreign policy plan–one the deals with the root of the issue. What it doesn’t need are the hands of businessmen looking to make another buck. What we get are ill-advised, constitutionally useless discriminatory laws like SB1070–laws that have caused more harm to the debate, the economy and the nation’s political discourse.
This model prioritizes profit ahead of brains. Money ahead of humanity. Greed in place of decency. It’s ‘immigration’ being put up for sale. We can no longer afford our apathy. The longer we wait to build coherent, legal solutions to the issue, the more abusive practices continue to prosper. It’s time to take a very close look at what private prisons are doing to our security, our social fabric and our Latino communities.
They are using us as scapegoats to fill the coffers–as pawns in the next Ponzi scheme. CCA, ALEC and their cronies are not in it to “fix” the immigration issue. Who are we kidding? They love it–the less immigrants to put behind bars, the less Latinos to incarcerate while waiting for proof of papers, the less individuals to get lost in the system–the less dollars deposited into their bank accounts. They don’t care about who is affected, who dies in their care, who faces persecution by the hateful laws they are peddling.
It’s all about the profit.
They are making a killing, and you are paying for it.
January 28th, 2014
In the State of the Union address tonight, President Obama is going to call for a national minimum wage of $10.10. Then in their response ...
January 21st, 2014
My New Year's Day op-ed in the New York Times seems to have kickstarted a discussion about how to make Obamacare better. I hope you ...
December 18th, 2013
This morning it was announced by the Library of Congress and the National Film Preservation Board that my first film, 'Roger & Me', has been ...
December 14th, 2013
[View the story "Michael Moore Tweets on Eve of Newtown Anniversay" on Storify]
November 9th, 2013
Click here for this week's full schedule for the State Theatre and Bijou by the Bay in Traverse City, Michigan. The day has arrived. For ...
September 10th, 2013
[View the story "John Kerry's Accidental Diplomacy" on Storify]
July 30th, 2013
Today Bradley Manning was convicted on 20 of 22 counts, including violating the Espionage Act, releasing classified information and disobeying orders. That's the bad news. ...
September 11th, 2010
OpenMike 9/11/10 Michael Moore's daily blog I am opposed to the building of the "mosque" two blocks from Ground Zero. I want it built on ...
December 14th, 2010
Yesterday, in the Westminster Magistrates Court in London, the lawyers for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange presented to the judge a document from me stating that ...
May 12th, 2011
"The Nazis killed tens of MILLIONS. They got a trial. Why? Because we're not like them. We're Americans. We roll different." – Michael Moore in ...
November 22nd, 2011
This past weekend I participated in a four-hour meeting of Occupy Wall Street activists whose job it is to come up with the vision and ...
September 22nd, 2011
I encourage everyone I know to never travel to Georgia, never buy anything made in Georgia, to never do business in Georgia. I will ask ...
December 16th, 2010
Dear Swedish Government: Hi there -- or as you all say, Hallå! You know, all of us here in the U.S. love your country. Your ...
November 2nd, 2010
This letter contains (almost) no criticisms of how the Democrats have brought this day of reckoning upon themselves. That -- and where to go from ...