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Private Prison Companies Cash Out in Texas under Trump

According to reporting by Mother Jones, private prison companies are among the top profiteers from the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement practices.

Nearly one year after Trump’s inauguration, the prospects for the private prison companies GEO Group and CoreCivic (formerly Corrections Corporation of American, or CCA) “have never looked rosier.” Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has surged its interior enforcement, increasing arrests by 40 percent, while requesting increased capacity for immigrant detention.

The administration’s first private prison contract went to  GEO Group in April to build a new facility in Conroe, Texas. The expected revenue boost totals $44 million annually.

The increased interior enforcement has facilitated the opportunity for ICE to request more detention facilities between the coasts: near Chicago, Detroit; Salt Lake City, Utah; and St. Paul, Minnesota. Following the administration’s announcement in October, GEO Group chairman and CEO George Zoley stated, “GEO has such an appetite for these kinds of facilities, particularly with the contemplated length of the contracts—which we estimate to be approximately 10 years.”

While Texas has the capacity to detain more than 10,000 people currently, according to Mother Jones’ count, ICE is seeking an additional 1,000 beds to incarcerate immigrants in the state. President Trump stated that the privatization of prisons seems to “work a lot better,” despite the countless human rights abuses documented in facilities.

Photo by Gage Skidmore, link to Flickr.

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The private prison business is booming as President Donald Trump delivers on his campaign promise to crack down on immigrants here illegally. In the first three months of his presidency, at least 113,828 immigrants were locked up in 180 different facilities nationwide - a 10 percent increase over that period in 2016, data obtained by the Houston Chronicle shows.
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