Brewer, Arpaio and CCA
Over the summer reports started to emerge that revealed that two key advisors
for Arizona Governor Jan Brewer had close ties to
Corrections Corporation of America.
Specifically local CBS affiliate KPOH reported that "two of Brewer’s top
advisers have connections" to private prison giant Corrections Corporation of
America (CCA). Lawrence Lewis, writing for the
reported that “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
of HighGround Public Affairs Consultants, which lobbies for CCA. Lewis also
noted that it just so happens that CCA has a contract with Immigration and
Customs Enforcement “to lock up illegal immigrants picked up in Arizona” and
obviously sending millions of dollars into the coffers of this company.
CCA currently operates a total of six correctional facilities in Arizona in two
small towns, Florence (where there are two facilities) and Eloy (which has the
other four). These towns are located within a short distance of Phoenix.
Several mention the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement as part of
their “customer base”; for one - the
Eloy Detention Center
– the Bureau is their only customer. Altogether, these six facilities house
more than 12,000 inmates, some from other states (such as California and
Hawaii). CCA operates a total of 60 facilities with some 75,000 prisoners in 19
states and the District of Columbia.
Rachael Meadow show
on September 1 reported that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has decided to stop
advertising on the station that has been reporting this story, KPHO, because of
the “credibility of their journalism” – they admitted it was because of the
investigation into Brewer’s ties to CCA. It has become obvious that CCA stands
to gain from the enforcement of the recent anti-immigration law.
Related to this story is another one concerning the hard-line controversial
Sheriff of Phoenix, Joe Arpaio. The Department of Justice has filed suit
against him for “refusing to cooperate with an investigation into whether it
discriminated against Latinos while trying to catch illegal immigrants,” and
engaging in racial profiling, according to the
Los Angeles Times.
This is the first time in 30 years that a local law enforcement official has
withheld documents pertaining to an investigation. Arpaio’s officers have been
involved in an intensive effort to enforce the recent law by patrolling
neighborhoods where Latino immigrants live and checking on their status. (This
comes at a time when the number of illegal immigrants crossing the border has
declined from a high of 12 million in 2007 to 11.1 million in 2009, according to
Pew Hispanic Center
© 2010, Randall G. Shelden. All
rights reserved. No part of this may be reproduced without permission from the