Friday, March 22, 2013

Legalizing Aliens While in Jail

Chuck Schumer is the leading Senate Democrat working on immigration reform -- he gets to decide whether millions of undocumented immigrants will be imprisoned or legalized. Yet he’s also taken over $100,000 in campaign contributions from the private prison industry. Is it any surprise that he’s pushing for billions more dollars spent on increased enforcement and detention of immigrants?

We can’t trust Sen. Schumer to push for fair legislation when he’s accepting money from private prison companies that have a strong interest in jailing as many immigrants as possible.

Already, tens of thousands of undocumented parents, students and even children are imprisoned every day. The two leading private prison corporations, CCA and GEO Group, spent millions in 2012 lobbying lawmakers. Not surprisingly, the result was a sharp increase in immigrant detention and deportation--and $296.9 million in profits from Immigration and Customs Enforcement for the two companies. Senator Schumer has taken money from both of these companies.

Sen. Schumer was probably hoping no one would notice he was taking money from private prisons while making back-room deals that would result in more jailing of immigrants. But momentum to hold Sen. Schumer accountable is building. Last week, undocumented youth, led by the DREAM Action Coalition, called out his bluff. And dozens of grassroots groups have started to stage protests.

We know from past experience that Sen. Schumer is really sensitive about his image in the media and hopes to one day become Senate Majority Leader. 

Tell Sen. Schumer the only way he can demonstrate his commitment to real immigration reform is by returning the money he accepted from private prisons. 

Thanks and ¡adelante!
Arturo, Ana, Gabriela, Erick, and the rest of the Team

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