State Sen. Russell Pearce was instrumental in drafting SB-1070, Arizona’s controversial immigration law, which gave police new immigration enforcement powers. While the constitutionality of the law is being decided in the courts, NPR spent the last few months looking at another aspect: who backed the bill and how it was first created. They found that private prison contractors, such as the Corrections Corporation of America, saw an opportunity to increase profits and were instrumental in drafting and pushing through the bill. Lots of companies lobby for things that increase profits. But when it comes to legislation intended to incarcerate people, does that cross a line?
Laura Sullivan, reporter with NPR working on the investigation
Russell Pearce, Arizona State Senator; sponsor of anti-illegal immigration bill SB 1070