President Obama is poised to make a sweeping decision on immigration soon. Although details of another executive action on immigration are still unclear, it’s likely to benefit millions of people. But not all of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. will be protected from deportation. The president has made clear that because Congress hasn’t moved forward on comprehensive immigration reform (CIR), he must.
The Senate passed a CIR bill last year. Despite excitement, however, it never made it through the House—which just recently passed two anti-immigration bills, which will also not move forward. Theories abound as to why CIR never made it through the Senate. Among those is the idea that private prison lobbyists killed the reform.
I talked to Peter Cervantes-Gautschi, the executive director of Enlace, which is the convening organization of the Prison Divestment Campaign. He recently published an article in AlterNet outlining how the private prison lobby, handled by the GEO Group and the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), played a big hand in CIR. Continue reading