Organization uncovers U.S. immigrant detention quota for profit
The implementation of an “immigrant detention quota” by Congress in 2009 has become a driver of an increasingly aggressive immigration enforcement strategy that benefits two major private prison corporations (Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group) according to a new report by Grassroots Leadership published this week.
The immigrant detention quota established In 2009 by Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) calls for no less than 33,400 detention beds. The number was increased in to 34,000 in 2013.
Here are some of the findings of the report:
- Since just before the onset of the quota, private prisons have increased its share of immigrant detention beds by 13 percent.
- 62 percent of ICE immigration detention beds are now operated by private prisons, up from 49 percent in 2009.
- The entire ICE detention system has grown nearly 47 percent in the last decade.
- Between 2008 and 2014, CCA spent $10,560,000 in quarters where they lobbied on issues related to immigrant detention and immigration reform.
- GEO spent $460,000 between 2011 and 2014 in quarters where they lobbied on these issues.
- Nine of the ten largest ICE detention centers are private. Together, CCA and GEO Group operate eight of these.
- GEO and CCA combined operate 72 percent of the privately contracted ICE immigrant detention beds.
- CCA and GEO expanded their share of the total ICE immigrant detention system from 37 percent in 2010 to 45 percent in 2014.
- CCA grew its profits from $133,373,000 in 2007 to $195,022,000 in 2014.
- GEO grew its profits from from $41,845,000 in 2007 to $143,840,000 in 2014, a 244 percent increase.
- Since FY2014, CCA and GEO have both expanded their capacity for detaining women and children.
- CCA’s detention center in Dilley, Texas, which opened in 2014, currently holds about 480 women and children, and is being expanded to accommodate an expected capacity of 2,400 by May 2015.
- GEO’s Karnes County detention center, which opened in June 2014, currently holds around 600 women and children, but will expand to a capacity of 1,200.