Private Prisons: Exploiting Immigrant Detainees into Forced Labor

Private Prisons: Exploiting Immigrant Detainees into Forced Labor

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10 th Circuit in Denver recently heard arguments in a class action case that could drastically change the practices of the steadily growing private prison industry. In 2014, a group of current and former detainees filed suit against Geo Group Inc., one of the largest private prison companies in the U.S., regarding their treatment at Geo’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in Aurora, CO. The group claims that Geo allegedly violated federal anti-trafficking laws by coercing detainees to work for free by threatening them with solitary confinement. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which is normally associated with sexual exploitation by gangs, prohibits using threats to obtain labor. The suit further accuses Geo of violating common law against unjust enrichment through its usage of an optional work program that pays detainees $1 per day; this program saves Geo money, since the Aurora facility employs only one janitor who is not a detainee. Critics of the private prison industry in general claim that the private companies lack the accountability required to prevent abuses in government facilities, and that their focus on profits leads to excessive cost-cutting measures. Advocates for the industry, however, claim that the private companies run far more effective and successful facilities. Back in August, 2016, former President Obama announced its intention to phase out private prisons. A day later, a Geo subsidiary donated $100,000 to a super PAC supporting Trump, who later reversed the Obama policy and awarded the administration’s first private prison contract to Geo, whose stock prices have risen 70% since Trump’s successful bid for the presidency. Whether your loved one is detained in a privately or government-run detention facility, we are here to help. We are the deportation defense lawyers to whom you can turn if you or a loved one are facing deportation proceedings, no matter what the reason may be. Regardless of the complexity or difficulty of the situation, Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. has the experience, knowledge, and skills to advocate on behalf of you and your family throughout the course of any deportation proceedings. Contact our office today and let us answer all of your questions about asylum proceedings, or any other aspect of deportation proceedings.
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