A pretty amazing story from NPR about how the private prison industry was one of the drivers behind Arizona’s tough new anti-immigrant laws:
According to Corrections Corporation of America reports reviewed by NPR, executives believe immigrant detention is their next big market. Last year, they wrote that they expect to bring in "a significant portion of our revenues" from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that detains illegal immigrants.
So you have private for-profit companies running prisons. Then they use the money they got from the government to lobby to get more people locked up. Nice.