$2 Billion a Year Industry: Housing Illegal Immigrants

Wednesday, August 08, 2012
CCA Immigration Detention Center
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), one of the nation’s largest private prison operators, was on the verge of going bankrupt 12 years ago. Today, CCA along with other companies are raking in federal tax dollars by housing thousands of illegal immigrants.
The government is spending upwards of $2 billion a year to detain undocumented immigrants, with CCA and competitors like the GEO Group, as well as Management and Training Corp. enjoying the largest contracts.
Approximately 400,000 immigrants are rounded up each year, creating a sizeable demand for private prisons to house these individuals until they are deported.
The lucrative business is growing even though illegal immigration has dropped significantly in recent years.
A decade ago only 10% of the nation’s civil detention system was run by private prison companies. Now such companies operate nearly 50% of detention centers.
For CCA the turnaround has been dramatic. The company faced bankruptcy in 2000 after it was hit with multiple lawsuits, endured management problems, and lost many of its contracts. But by 2011, it enjoyed $162 million in net income.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
To Learn More:
U.S. Private Prisons Bank on Immigrants (by Laura Wides-Munoz, Associated Press)
Private Prison Company to Demand 90% Occupancy (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)
Private Prison Industry Helped Create Anti-Immigrant Law in Arizona (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)



Leave a comment