Prison for Immigrants is BIG BUSINESS$$$

As local governments and states attempt to address budget shortfalls a new phenomenon is becoming more prevalent as it already has in certain pockets across the nation.

Prisons once only used to house those found guilty of committing crimes against society have been found to be a financial windfall for governments and the for profit private corporations that run them.

These facilities which were originally constructed to house and punish our nations law breakers yet they have found a new use although one they were not designed for and new private prisons again not designed to temporarily house detainees are being built everyday across this nation.

Rather than being detained to await quick deportation these unfortunate individuals are being housed in prisons which are designed for punishment even though these immigrants have been convicted of No crime. Also with language barriers and no access to any legal counsel some will be housed like convicts for quite a bit of time even years are not out of the question and are becoming increasingly normal for those exposed to this new realm of hell on Earth.

Guilt or innocence is no longer part of the equation, only a lack of a Green-Card will guarantee a spot in this ever growing industry. No longer just a place for those who commit murder, rape or bank robberies etc the only needed criteria is the lack of a U.S. Green-Card. The maxim, “Liberty & Justice for All” is of no consequence here punishment is guaranteed even if it is not warranted.

Now in Southwest Ranches, Florida the local government is cashing in thanks to the U.S. government by beginning to build what will ultimately be the Largest immigration detention center in America. The payoff will be a 4% cut of the profits from the For-Profit private agency hired to house these unfortunate human beings.

There is Big Money to be made here as other sites are also being contemplated in San Antonio, Texas, Essex County, New Jersey and Orange County, California.

The latest and greatest will of course be run by Corrections Corporation of America this nations largest private prison corporation. Immigration detention and housing are big business as they provide 12% or almost $200 million yearly to CCA’s corporate bottom line.

This new 1500 bed facility is expected to generate $1.5 million per year to CCA and local officials are now speaking of the commission they will receive for every filled bed.

No matter that this affluent communities residents do not want to have CCA as a neighbor dollar signs are blurring, distorting and blocking lines of communication. One official wrote, “I have been fully advised by our DC contacts that we should remain fully quiet on this one and to let our DC Leaders help without sparking a fire that will make it more difficult for them to assist”. The official who wrote the above referenced text is also a partner in one of Florida’s largest lobbying firms.

While the status of the illegal immigration issue has been garnering numerous news reports and even government legislation little if anything has actually been accomplished. Former President George W. Bush even signed legislation to build fences along our southern border with Mexico while also increasing the number of ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) agents.

However even legislation that has passed and been signed by the president is of little use when after signing the legislation President Bush never properly funded the program. The gesture while quelling public sentiment in the end did little to address the issue as no profit margins could be realized by the ever growing private for profit business sector or their lobbyists.

The Department of Homeland Security came to the conclusion that the mass detention of these individuals was the answer to the problem. It is of little surprise that this thought process will only enrich the for profit prison industry along with their lobbyists and the campaign coffers of the legislator’s involved.

Somewhere along the lines of 50% of immigrants detained in the U.S. are held in for profit facilities and these companies are trying more everyday to corner the market and increase profit margins as they grab up higher and higher shares of their needed customers or should I say prisoners.

It has become a self fulfilling prophecy as these facilities are built that they need to keep these prisoners coming to continue to grow the profits of their corporations.

The immigration detention figures speak for themselves in 1994 daily inmate counts stood at 6,785. In 2001 the figure had risen to 20,249 and by 2010 the count had risen to 31,200, this final figure was a 450% increase from 1994. Of course this only added to the financial profits of these for profit prison corporations while literally doing nothing to address illegal immigration into the United States.

However it did enrich a few particular segments of society; the private prisons, lobbyists and the campaign funds of various legislators. There was even a journalistic segment done by NPR (National Public Radio) that covered how the private prison industry had quietly behind the scenes helped to draft self-serving legislation in Arizona (Arizona Senate Bill 1070). There was also an Out and Out Lie that a Government official used quite often to justify the passing of the legislation and even though the proof that the statement was in fact a lie the official never changed their tune. No illegal had murdered a rancher a legal U.S. citizen had, oh well so much for facts.

The new state statute was extreme in it’s scope and polarizing across the nation. The new law requires police in Arizona to ask people for their immigration papers during traffic stops using an Undefined-Reasonable-Suspicion procedure that the person may be in this country of 300 million+ illegally.

Legislation was also passed in Alabama which is still feeling it’s effects with dwindling school populations and less funding dollars for those still in need of an education. Farm crops rotted in the field as Americans would not or could not do the work all to the dismay of farmers losing hundreds of thousands of dollars. With 7 million immigrants in the U.S. workforce and American workers are not the least bit interested in the jobs they hold or held to whom will America turn for this labor?

Over 15% of our national population is of Hispanic or Latino decent nationwide. However in the western regions of this country of which Arizona clearly falls into 42% of the citizens are either Hispanic or Latino. And Arizona is not the only state that wants to jump on this cash cow to enrich the states coffers several other states are following their lead hoping to cash in on this new captive audience to fill their bank accounts.

Again Immigration-Reform has taken a back seat to creating an enormously profitable enterprise for both the states and the private corporations. Rather then proposing, legislating, enacting and addressing immigration reform, states and the federal government are attempting and succeeding in cashing in on this issue.

The Director of ICE John Morton stated, “This isn’t a question of whether or not we will detain people. We will detain people, and we will detain them on a grand scale”. It is of little consequence that the vast majority of detainees present no danger to the public or are expected to flee the country. A cottage prison industry has been built and by God prisoners are needed to fill the beds within, there is money to be made and no one is going to stand in the way.

Even though $2 billion dollars a year is being spent housing people who should not be in jail in the first place is inhumane, wasteful and fails to address immigration reform in anyway the American taxpayer is on the hook for funding this charade.

NOTE THE LACK OF CORRELATION TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS AND VIOLENT CRIMES BELOW;

This subcontracting of America is continuing unabated from national security, foreign mercenaries, private prisons and the list goes on all the while our countries standing in the World community is suffering yet no one seems to care. Neither would you if you were a Bought-&-Paid for legislator or a corporation receiving untold funds thanks to your successful lobbying efforts.

Presently each immigrant inmate costs $166 dollars per day as the United States rapidly approaches 2.5 million of it’s citizens incarcerated for real-crimes and we are known across the globe as The-World’s-Jailer do we want to add to this horrific distinction?

Our prisons today are inhumane warehouse facilities with at least 20% of the population suffering from mental illness do we want to compound the problem. Over $70 billion dollars a year are spent housing our Real criminals a 660% increase from 1982-2006. Do we want to see the same exponential increase in our housing of illegal immigrants under even harsher confinement conditions?

In 2001 the Federal Bureau of Prisons reported it cost $62.01 per day to house an inmate. In 2009 the state of California reported it’s cost at $129.04 per day.

With private prisons charging $166 dollars per day this would be a profit margin any CEO would be proud of and would be continually trying to refill or increase the numbers of captive clients. Lobbyists would be beating down the doors of our elected officials in their attempts to further privatize the incarceration industry. Politicians as in the past will be happy to take the campaign contributions realized after successful legislation to this end, the full privatization of a once federal and state controlled job.

Why will our Washington legislators never effectively address illegal immigration in this country. It all comes down to money as is usually the case representing the United States citizen as they swore an oath to do has become nothing more than meaningless words. Corporations and Lobbyists control the USA, it’s government and it’s citizens to think otherwise is a fools paradise.

Americans can go to sleep every night in their comfortable beds after a nice dinner that was more than likely brought to them from slave waged illegal immigrants.

Drug addicts can continue to buy their illegal drug of choice. While our government does not condone it they do nothing to stop the illegal drug trade between the United States and Mexico, we even supply them with the needed ingredients, corporations need to make profits. However if we Truly wished as a nation to slow the tide of illegal drugs the U.S. could stop American corporations from selling Mexico the precursors for drug manufacture.

No one needs to worry about the countless innocent immigrants suffering often for years housed in prisons which were not created to Detain them, why even bother to think about it?

Only trying to find a better life cost this illegal his life.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

U.S. Income Inequality is Destroying the USA for the rich & Poor

During the 1970 period 15% of American’s lived in either poor or affluent developments. When we look at the data for 2007 a full 35% lived in one of the two neighborhood types. Between the 2000 and 2007 period there was a surge of Income Segregation for black and Hispanic family units while this was not as rapid as the 1970 to present era it was dramatic. This recent phenomenon Income Segregation has been only increasing in the last four decades crossing all racial boundaries without regard or concern it is just a merciless drum. There are those With alongside those Without and in the end we will all suffer for it as it will only greatly contribute to the decline of the United States of America.

While for some, those not having to share their affluent schools and social systems with others this may look promising to them. However it does not look promising for our or other countries poorer citizens or for the USA as a whole in the long run.

Also funding attitudes may change as further segregation continues with the affluent less likely wanting to fund programs that were funded in more segregated communities of times past.

The Brookings institution found that those American’s living in Extreme poverty rose by 1/3 from 2000 to the latter half of the decade. Those in the suburbs did not fare well either as there was a 53% increase in those living in poverty from 2000-2010.

Even those of the affluent classes are showing growing concern for this phenomenon as it will continue to be detrimental to the United States as a whole until it is addressed, yet this is mostly seen in Economists who really have a grasp of the big-picture. In a September 2011 study done by the International Monetary Fund it found that greater income equality positively correlates with a nation’s economic growth.

We are constantly told by our elected officials in Washington that the U.S. must reduce environmental regulation and reduce taxes. This in a country where the effective corporate/business tax rate is 17% not 35% as the thirty-five percent figure does not take into account all of the tax loopholes used by those corporations that do pay taxes. Many corporations pay little if any taxes via the use of offshore tax-havens, the figures estimated to be in the trillion dollar range. The top 1% has seen their income increase by 270% versus 19% for the bottom tier of Americans from 1979-2007.

CBO 2007 data

In the CBO report it was also found that between 2005-2007 that the after tax income of the top 20% of the U.S. population exceeded the remaining after-tax income for the rest of the nation. It was also found that the top 1%’s share of total market income increased from 50-60% while all other income ranges saw a decline.

Two factors were cited as the reason for this inequality one being an increase of each individual source of income; labor, business income, capital gains, capital income etc. The report noted that these sources of income were less evenly distributed in 2007 than in the 1979 period. For instance labor income has been more evenly distributed versus capital and business income with even more of a disparity in regards to capital gains. For the period 1979-2007 the share of income derived from capital gains and business income showed increases while labor income decreased furthering the economic divide which contributed to the greater distribution of wealth inequality in America.

Again our Washington government officials tell us that entitlement programs which benefit the under-classes must be cut while the taxes and regulations which favor the rich must be eliminated or reduced to tackle our $14 trillion dollar deficit.

This chart to the left shows a different picture where the Bush-Era tax cuts which primarily benefited the wealthy are in fact the driving force.

While the current Washington Republican stance that reducing taxes, environmental regulations and reducing or returning banking/investment regulations to per-recession levels totally contradicts the opinions of the World’s leading economists.

The International Monetary Funds 2007 report finds that Income Equality Positively correlates to Stronger economic growth. It was found that a mere 10% decrease in inequality increased the expected duration of economic growth by a full 50%. The comprehensive study using data collected between 1950-2006 found countries with more income equality stayed in or fell into deeper recessions. It was also found that countries with a more equal distribution of wealth, that their economic growth lasted much longer.

It was also found that income equality was of more importance  and corresponded more strongly to sustained economic growth than other economic factors. Restoring or attempting to address income inequality was further shown to be of a much greater importance than the lowering of debt levels.

The study authors stated, “Sustainable economic reform, is possible only when its benefits are widely shared.” The breadth of income inequality in the United States now more closely resembles the economies of Iran and Russia versus other developed countries.

Economists have attempted to explain that stagnant(not rising) wages for the last four decades as a part of the widening income inequality while the upper class have been those who have seen benefits increase over the more the forty year period.

Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz stated, “An economy in which most citizens are doing worse year after year — an economy like America’s — is not likely to do well over the long haul,” in an article he wrote for Vanity Fair.

So as the hard numbers from the most recent data point out along with a Worldwide consensus of economists.

Our Republican Washington legislators and followers of Grover Norquist have all gotten it Very Wrong.

Or is the reality that our politicians are really just bought and paid for by the top 1% who are only interested in one thing Money$$$ and the rest of the United States of America can go straight to hell.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Black Farmers’ $1.2bil Settlement 1 more step to Justice!

With a recent judicial decision a $1.2 billion dollar government settlement for black farmers moved another step towards a realized gain and closure for the affected parties.

The USDA’s Civil Rights History is far from being even close to a level playing field when dealing with this nations black farmers. For decades they were collectively denied any assistance or Loans, while their white-counterparts had no problems with assistance or loans.

This case was originally filed in 1997 as thousands of these unfortunate farmers were penalized for trying to earn an honest living via farming in America’s Heartlands for themselves and their families.

President Barack Obama said, “This agreement will provide overdue relief and justice to African American farmers, and bring us closer to the ideals of freedom and equality that this country was founded on”.

The head of the National Black Farmers Association via CNN, stated, “So many farmers had given up hope that this would ever come to pass”. While it will now take about one year to review and access the farmers after this is done these fine men & women will receive their long overdue justice.

Unfortunately black farmers now only make up 1% of our nation’s ranches and farms. This was not the case in the 1920 period when black farmers constituted 14% of US farms and ranches.

It is profoundly saddening that Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (once a Tea-Party favorite) voiced the opinion that the settlement was a waste of federal money, along with other Republicans. Bachmann also said, ” When money is diverted to inefficient projects, like the Pigford project, where there seems to be proof-positive of fraud, we can’t afford $2 billion (she was only off by $800 million and still painfully misguided) in potentially fraudulent claims when that money can be used to benefit the people along the Mississippi River and the Missouri River”.

Here we are in the 21st century and still past misdeeds regarding this countries treatment of it’s black citizens via various means of discrimination are still being dealt with and not yet completed near the end of 2011.

So many affluent voices are heard that affirmative action and racial prejudice are things of the past in our history? Seriously,,,, Lynchings of unfortunate blacks were still occurring in 1967 with regularity, hate crimes still occur today.

I’m 52, white (caucasian) and I don’t think it that much of a past history issue for me. My older sister was Literally Kicked out of the state of Florida by the authorities for dating a black man in 1967.

My parents I later found out where also threatened with jail terms, this occurred when my sister went to a convenience store to get a soda. My parents had apparently been charged with making sure that my elder sister was never out of their sight. Yet she innocently went to the store to get a soda pop which was about four blocks from our home and my parents were threatened with jail.

My father a white man had a top-secret security clearance as he supervised the construction of parts for the USA’s growing nuclear arsenal. He could never talk about what he did at work which was very strange, however a small little piece of information was finally found out, nuclear bomb parts were his trade. We were Very middle class with private schools and never were without food or the latest clothing or household items.

It was not until I was 10 years of age I even found out that my elder sister existed. She just happened to visit while not warmly accepted by my father, imagine my surprise. Here was this very nice articulate, intelligent and funny person, my sister (an accountant by trade), why did it take an accidental meeting for this family heirloom to arrive in my life.

Well my sister dated black men and had married a wonderful black man named Marvin and they had two children Lisa & David, two beautiful outstanding children, now adults.

Racial disparities still surround us in our prisons and jails where blacks are over-represented because of unfair sentencing guidelines and extremely poor legal representation, yes some are criminals, however this does not explain the racial disparity found in our legal system.

In the workplace having just retired from a fortune 250 company at the age of 52 -wanting to live the rest of my days as I want to and being financially able to do so- from my own observations prejudice is still rampant. I know of white-supremacists in my own large metropolitan city and have friends who are prejudiced at an alarming rate, it’s quite disturbing.

Imagine my surprise when in the 1980’s my beautiful niece came to visit Florida. We were both the same age group ( I was a year older) she was so beautiful on the outside and the inside and we became fast friends, my Niece who was held from me for so many years. I still recall the time my best friend said, ” Who’s the N***** with you?”. My anger was immediate and in no uncertain terms I made him aware to never speak that word again around me.

So no one in this day and age should turn their back on Any of our fellow countrymen or women. Nor should they try to say that racism isn’t still very prevalent as many would like us to believe. Maybe some day in this country People will just be that People, however for now this is still not the case, especially in the south.

Kudos to these farmers and I am quite sure the monetary amount does not make up for the treatment they endured.

For the few who might read this maybe you might consider giving our fellow citizens a fair chance be they Black, Indian, Latino, Mexican or any other race they are all human beings. They are all just humans trying find their way in life and to care for themselves and their loved ones.

Is this not what we all strive for, so before you make a racist comment about anyone or prejudge them because of the color of their skin maybe you could reflect and then Think-Before-You-Speak.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

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