The Usage of Private Prisons as Immigration Detention Centers

The Usage of Private Prisons as Immigration Detention Centers

A few private prison companies operate the bulk of the prisons across the United States, including GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). In recent years, these companies have expanded their operations into the business of operating immigration detention centers. This is due in large part to the high profits that these companies see from operating immigration detention centers. In 2009, Congress inserted an immigration detention quota into the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2010, which mandates Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to contract for and fill 33,400 (now 34,000) detention beds daily. This bed mandate has driven not only immigration enforcement to become more and more aggressive, but also has significantly increased profits for the private prison companies that are operating these facilities. In 2009, private prison companies operated facilities containing 49% of immigration detention beds. By 2015, that share had risen to 64%. GEO Group and CCA alone own facilities that hold 72% of all immigration detention beds. Likewise, private prison companies now operate nine out of the ten largest immigration detention centers in the country; GEO Group or CCA operates eight of those nine facilities. Additionally, CCA, in particular, is taking steps to ensure its hold on the immigration detention facility business; between 2008 and 2014, CCA spent over $10 million lobbying on issues related to immigration reform and enforcement. GEO Group also has begun spending substantial amounts on lobbying in recent years. In light of Trump’s emphasis on immigration enforcement, which has escalated the rate of immigrant detentions, private prisons stand to profit even more significantly than they have in the past. A leaked White House memo revealed a recommendation that ICE begin incarcerating 80,000 individuals each day, as well as build new immigration detention centers, lease cells in local jails to hold immigrants, and sign new contracts, ostensibly with private prison companies. Currently, ICE incarcerates between 31,000 and 34,000 immigrants per day. This enormous increase in detention beds and immigration enforcement could cost upwards of $2 billion in new federal government funding each, according to some estimates. When you or a loved one are detained and face deportation for any reason, Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. is here to help. We care about you, your family, and your ability to remain in the U.S. As a result, our California deportation defense lawyers stand ready to build the strongest possible deportation defense case on your behalf. Contact your Oakland immigration lawyer today and learn how we can advocate for you and your family in your deportation proceedings.
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