Richard Vogel / AP
The Trump administration's immigration policies have drawn condemnation, but the criticism has also turned into a web of companies that are part of the multi-billion-dollar industry that runs detention facilities for the ten thousands of migrants around the country. 19659008] Businesses that supply goods and services to support those detention centers are making increasing public and political scrutiny by investors, employees and activists.
Last week, workers at Wayfair protested after one worker discovered the Boston-based firm was supplying bedroom furniture to and the facility housing migrant children seeking asylum.
And Bank of America said it would stop financing private prison and immigration detention companies, following similar statements by JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. Such lending is vital to the construction and expansion of detention facilities, although the industry still has plenty of other options;
After American Airlines discovered that migrant children separated from their families were transported on its
The issue has also attracted the attention of Democratic presidential hopefuls, including Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, who have pledged to dismantle an industry they say they have created financial incentives to lock up more prisoners and migrants.
"It's never really drawn anywhere near this level of critical scrutiny, so I think there's something about involvement in immigration detention that has really tarnished [their] brand in a really significant way, "said David Fathi, director of the ACLU's National Prison Project
But, at the same time, there are very little public information about which companies make money supplying goods and services to detention centers, largely because government contracts are sprawling
"If there is one inline between every single component of the ICE detention system, it's opacity, it's like a deliberate lack of transparency," said Heidi Altman, National Immigrant Justice Center
CoreCivic and GEO Group's revenues totaled a combined $ 4.1 billion last year, and detention contracts made up about a quarter of that.
Many activists say the pursuit of revenue in the industry has helped drive today's immigration policies. we are in the trouble that we are in part because of those that are invested in it, "said Bianca Tylek, executive director of Worth Rises, an organization opposing the privatization of prisons and detention centers
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political contributions, CoreCivic and GEO Group spent $ 1.6 million and $ 2.8 million, respectively, on political contributions and lobbying in 2018, overwhelmingly to Republican candidates
The ACLU's Fathi said the expansion of migrant detention in recent years has been driven by private business, not by federal government.
"The availability of private, for-profit detention has enabled the administration to dramatically increase ICE detention," he said. "And I think it's safe to say that that growth could not have been accommodated without the services of the private prison industry."
For its part, CoreCivic said it does not play a role in politics or enforcement. "CoreCivic has been partnered with the federal government to operate detention facilities for more than 30 years, and we have worked with both Democrat and Republican administrations," said Gilchrist, a spokeswoman of the company,