Skip navigation

Payoff - How Congress Ensures Private Prisons Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota, 2015

Download original document:
Brief thumbnail
This text is machine-read, and may contain errors. Check the original document to verify accuracy.
F
F
O
Y
PA

How Congress Ensures

Immigrant Detention Quota

April 2015

PAYOFF:
with an Immigrant Detention Quota
April 2015
By: Bethany Carson and Eleana Diaz
Design & Layout: Catherine Cunningham
Grassroots Leadership would like to give special thanks to those who have been instrumental in the
creation of this report:
For their bravery in sharing their stories and dedication to working on behalf of those still caught
in the immigration detention system: Solomon, Marichuy Leal, Muhammad Nazry (Naz) Mustakim,
Hope Mustakim, and Henry Taracena.
For their support in shaping and envisioning the report, researching and editing multiple drafts,
providing first-hand information, contributing images and graphics, and making valuable
connections: Raul Alcaraz, Barbara Hines, Bob Libal, Jennifer Long, Christina Mansfield, Aurea
Martinez, Cristina Parker, Abraham Paulos, Carly Perez, Silky Shah, Mary Small, Stephanie Taylor, Olga
Tomchin, Maru Mora Villalpando, and Carol Wu.
Cover photo: A sign that reads “End the Quota” was held in front of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol
Office in Washington, D.C. at a May 2014 protest to end the immigrant detention quota. Photo by Cristina
Parker.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
In 2009, in the midst of a multi-year decline in the undocumented immigrant population,1 Senator Robert
Byrd (D-WV), then Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, inserted the
following language regarding Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) detention budget into the
Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2010: “…funding made available under this
heading shall maintain a level of not less than 33,400 detention beds.” 2 This directive established what would
become a controversial policy interpreted by ICE as a mandate to contract for and fill 33,400 (increased in
2013 to 34,000)3 detention beds on a daily basis. The directive would come to be known as the “immigrant
detention quota” or “bed mandate.” The immigration detention quota is unprecedented; no other law
enforcement agency operates under a detention quota mandated by Congress.
Since its implementation, the quota has become a driver of an increasingly aggressive immigration
enforcement strategy. The immigrant detention system has expanded significantly since the implementation
of the quota, and the percent of the detained population held in private facilities has increased even more
dramatically. Two major private prison corporations have emerged as the main corporate beneficiaries of
immigrant detention policies: Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group.
This report provides an in-depth assessment of the inception and implementation of the quota, with a
specific focus on the role played by for-profit, private prison corporations. These companies have profited
handsomely from the artificial stability provided by the quota while contributing millions of dollars in
federal lobbying expenditures and in campaign contributions to ensure their interests are met. This
report also features testimony from people directly impacted by detention and deportation, revealing the
momentous human cost of the quota.

KEY FINDINGS:
1. Private prison corporations have increased their share of the immigrant detention industry.

Since just before the onset of the quota, the private prison industry has increased its share of
immigrant detention beds by 13 percent. Sixty-two percent of4 all ICE immigration detention beds
in the United States are now operated by for-profit prison corporations, up from 49 percent in 2009.5
Nine of the ten largest ICE detention centers are private.6 This is particularly noteworthy in light of the
expansion of the entire ICE detention system by nearly 47 percent in the last decade.7

2. Private prison corporations lobby on immigration and immigrant detention issues that affect

their bottom line. Contrary to private prison corporation claims that they do not lobby on issues
related to immigration policy, between 2008 and 2014, CCA spent $10,560,000 in quarters where
they lobbied on issues related to immigrant detention and immigration reform.8,a Of that amount,
CCA spent $9,760,000, — 61 percent of total private prison lobbying expenditures — in quarters
where they directly lobbied the DHS Appropriations Subcommittee,9,b which maintains the immigrant
detention quota language and shapes the way in which it is interpreted. Lobbying disclosure forms

PAYOFF: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota | April 2015 | Page 3

reveal spending on: “Issues related to comprehensive immigration reform” (GEO Group, 2013), and
“FY 2014 and FY 2015 Department of Homeland Security appropriations - provisions related to
privately-operated ICE detention facilities” (CCA, 2014).10 Since 2010, CCA has spent at least 75 percent
of its lobbying expenditures in quarters where it has lobbied directly on the DHS Appropriations
Subcommittee.11 Though GEO Group has not directly lobbied the DHS Appropriations Subcommittee,
the company recently began lobbying on immigration and immigrant detention issues, spending
$460,000 between 2011 and 2014 in quarters when they lobbied on these issues.12
3. Two private prison corporations — CCA and GEO Group — dominate the immigration detention

industry. Together, they operate eight of the ten largest immigrant detention centers. GEO and CCA
combined operate 72 percent of the privately contracted ICE immigrant detention beds.13 In the years
following the implementation of the immigrant detention quota, CCA and GEO expanded their share
of the total ICE immigrant detention system from 37 percent in 2010 to 45 percent in 2014.14 GEO
Group in particular has increased its share of the total ICE immigrant detention system to 25 percent
in FY14 from 15 percent in FY10.15 Both companies have significantly augmented their profits since
the implementation of the quota, CCA from $133,373,00016 in 2007 to $195,022,000 in 2014.17 GEO
experienced an even more dramatic profit increase from $41,845,000 in 200718 to $143,840,000 in
2014, a 244 percent increase.19

4. CCA and GEO have recently expanded their immigrant detention capacity, including new

contracts for detaining asylum-seeking families. Since FY2014, the most recent numbers released
by ICE, both CCA and GEO have expanded their capacity for detaining women and children in new
family detention centersc in South Texas.d The CCA-operated South Texas Family Residential Center
in Dilley opened in December 2014 and currently holds about 480 women and children. It is under
expansion to grow to an expected capacity of 2,400 by May 2015. If this expansion proceeds, Dilley
will be the largest immigrant detention center in the U.S.20 The GEO-run Karnes County Residential
Center opened in June 2014 and now holds around 600 women and children, but will expand to
a capacity of 1,200.21 Additionally, in January 2015, GEO acquired LCS Corrections, which owns
several large immigrant detention facilities in Texas and Louisiana, further increasing its share of the
immigrant detention business.22

RECOMMENDATIONS:
1. Congress should eliminate the immigrant detention quota from its 2016 appropriations request.
2. ICE should reduce reliance on for-profit prison contractors. Congress should increase oversight within

the contracting system and launch a system-wide review of the contracted prisons and their related
intergovernmental service agreements.

3. ICE should end contracts at facilities with a record of abuse and penalize contractors found to have

multiple incidents of abuse or mismanagement in their facilities.

4. Congress and the Administration should prioritize

policies that expand the use of non-punitive, communitysupported alternative to detention (ATD) programs.
However, these measures must be used in place of current
detention capacity, not in addition to it. The intent of
any ATD program should be to reduce the population
in immigration detention, with the ultimate goal of
eliminating the immigration detention system entirely.

4 | PAYOFF: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota | April 2015

ORIGINS OF THE IMMIGRANT DETENTION QUOTA
The inclusion of the immigrant detention quota in the Department
of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2010 did not arise from
an evident and pressing public need, but rather from political efforts
aimed at increasing the number of immigrant detention beds. From
2000 to 2006, the average daily population (ADP) of immigrants
in detention was relatively stable remaining around 20,000.23 (This
was still a dramatic increase from the mid-90’s when the immigrant
detention population was around 7,000.24) In 2004, the Intelligence
Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act directed ICE to increase the number of beds by at least 8,000 each year
from fiscal years 2006 to 2010,25 though few of those beds were ever allocated.26 Chairman of the House
Appropriations Committee Rep. Harold Rogers said in a 2006 meeting that he wanted “no empty beds,”27
and in the following year, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act provided funding for
an additional 6,700 beds, bringing the total to 27,500.28,29 Chairman of the
Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security Sen. Robert Byrd
— whose political career began when he was appointed Exalted Cyclops
within the Ku Klux Klan30 — was a longtime supporter of detention for
undocumented immigrants and had often linked immigration to terrorism
and even the destruction of the environment in his speeches.31 However,
not much is known of Byrd’s exact thought process around the creation of
the immigrant detention quota. He died shortly after it was established,
and because it was quietly slipped into the DHS Appropriations Act of 2010
and not introduced as a piece of legislation, no public debate on the issue
was held. Despite this, a former aide of Byrd’s divulged that the Senator
was intent on using the quota to ensure that cost increases would not lead
ICE to decrease the number of detention beds.32
Since 2010, the immigrant detention quota has become a driver of an
increasingly aggressive immigration enforcement strategy. Unrelated
to any change in immigration trends, the quota was raised from 33,400 to 34,000 in February of 2012.33
Additionally, under the Obama Administration the number of arrests and deportations has climbed to a
record high averaging more than 380,000 per year34 and more than 2 million total since he took office.35
Subsequent efforts to strike the quota have proved unfruitful.36 Though the immigrant detention quota was
bracketed in the Administration’s 2015 budget, indicating that it was recommended for removal, Congress
did not eliminate the quota or reduce funding for bed space.37 While the Obama Administration remains
opposed to the mechanism of the quota, its recently-released 2016 budget requests an increase of bed
space to 34,040.

INCREASING PRIVATIZATION IN A GROWING
IMMIGRANT DETENTION INDUSTRY
As the number of detained immigrants increases, the share of immigrant detention beds granted to private
prison corporations is also growing rapidly. In 2004, the ADP in ICE authorized immigrant detention facilities
(both publicly and privately run) was 21,928.38 In the last decade, the immigrant detention system has grown
by 47 percent to detain 32,163 immigrants per day in fiscal year 2014.39 The percentage of immigrants
detained in private prisons has risen even more dramatically. In 2009, just 49 percent40 of beds were privately
run; today 62 percent of immigrant detention bed space is in private facilities — a 13 percentage point
increase in just 5 years.41
Chart 1-A shows the growth of the overall number of immigrants detained in ICE-authorized facilities. Chart
1-AA displays the even steeper increase in privatization.
Chart 1-A

Chart 1-AA

Both ADP and privatization are divided unevenly between states. Chart 1-B shows the percentage of 2014
ICE ADP in each of the 10 states with the greatest ADP.42 Thirty percent of the ICE ADP is located in one state
alone: Texas.43 Chart 1-C shows states with high levels of privatization among those with the 10 highest
ADP’s.44 It’s worth noting that while Texas is about 20 percent less privatized than Washington or Georgia,
it has the highest absolute number of private detention beds in the nation. At 7,602 private beds for
immigrant detainees, Texas has 39 percent of all private detention beds in the country.45
Chart 1-B

Chart 1-C

Currently, the cost of detention is roughly $160 per day per detainee, $5 million per day total, and $2 billion
per year.46 Private prison corporations market their services on a platform of reducing these government
costs. CCA, the nation’s largest private prison company, claims in a recent investor presentation, that it saves
6 | PAYOFF: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota | April 2015

the government 12 percent compared to government-run facilities.47 However, the company’s own footnote
acknowledges that this statistic comes from a Temple University Center for Competitive Government study
that “received funding by the private correctional industry.”48 Despite private prison claims, former ICE
Executive Associate Director for Enforcement and Removal Operations, Gary Mead, admitted in 2012 that
the government has not conducted internal research to determine the validity of private prison claims of
running cheaper facilities. He added that, “…[private detention centers] are not our most expensive, they are
not our cheapest [facilities].”49 Recent studies have cast doubt on the cost effectiveness of private prisons,50
along with the revelation that savings are often artificially augmented by delegating labor to detainees who
are paid $1 per day, rather than the minimum hourly wage that would be required for any other worker to
complete the same task.51 Privately run detention centers also regularly implement cost-cutting measures
on food, medical care, labor (in the form of wages, benefits, and training), and facilities. These bottom-line
focused tactics result in inhumane and sometimes lethal conditions.52
Even though corporate claims of cost savings have not been corroborated, private prison corporations have
enjoyed a 13 percentage point increase in their market share of immigrant detention from 2009 to 2014. This
is particularly striking as the size of the industry has increased by 47 percent from 2004 to 2014.53 Chart 1-D
below illustrates the ratio of beds held by the private prison industry as of fiscal year 2014.55
Chart 1-D e,f

Chart 1-E shows the top 10 largest immigrant detention facilities in the nation, and the corporations that run
them.56 Nine of the 10 are privately run, and all but two of these 10 detention centers are run by one of the
two largest private prison corporations: Corrections Corporation of America or GEO Group.57
Chart 1-E
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Facility
South Texas Detention Complex
Stewart Detention Center
Eloy Federal Contract Facility
Northwest Detention Center
Adelanto Correctional Facility
Jena/LaSalle Detention Facility
Port Isabel
Joe Corley Detention Facility
Houston Contract Detention Facility

Location
Pearsall, TX
Lumpkin, GA
Eloy, AZ
Tacoma, WA
Adelanto, CA
Jena, LA
Los Fresnos, TX
Conroe, TX
Houston, TX

Company
GEO
CCA
CCA
GEO
GEO
GEO
Public
GEO
CCA

FY14 ADP
1722
1619
1483
1400
1209
1033
992
958
942

Otero County Processing Center

Chapparal, NM

MTC58

845

In total, CCA and GEO each currently run 12 ICE-contracted facilities.59 The pie chart below (1-F) shows the
market share of the immigrant detention industry operated by each private prison company.60 CCA and GEO
together operate 72 percent of the private immigrant detention industry.61 This means that CCA and GEO
combined detain 14,149 immigrants per day, or 45 percent of the entire ICE immigrant detention capacity
in FY14, increased from 37 percent in FY10.62 GEO Group in particular has increased its share of the total
immigrant detention system to 25 percent in FY14 from 15 percent in FY10.63 In January 2015, GEO acquired
LCS Corrections, which operates several large immigrant detention facilities in Texas and Louisiana, further
increasing its share of the immigrant detention business.64
Additionally, both CCA and GEO have won contracts for, or expanded, new family detention centers in South
Texas recently opened by the Obama Administration in response to the arrival of Central American families
seeking asylum at our southern border in summer 2014. The CCA-operated South Texas Family Residential
Center in Dilley opened December 2014 and currently holds about 480 people and is under expansion to
an expected capacity of 2,400 by May 2015.65 If this expansion proceeds, Dilley will be the largest immigrant
detention center in the nation.66 The GEO-run Karnes County Residential Center opened in June 2014
now holds around 600 women and children, and the county voted in December 2014 to allow the facility
to expand to a capacity of 1,200.67 GEO’s acquisition of LCS and the new CCA and expanded GEO family
detention facilities are not reflected in the charts below or average daily population calculations in this
report as they are not included in the fiscal year 2014 data reported by ICE. Therefore, the numbers in this
report actually understate the current percentage of privatization, as well as the percent of GEO and CCA
expansion, in the immigrant detention system.
Chart 1-F

This expansion of private prison corporations further into immigrant detention has led to record profits.
Both companies have significantly augmented their net revenue since the implementation of the quota,
CCA from $133,373,00068 in 2007 to $195,022,000 in 2014.69 GEO experienced an even more dramatic
profit increase from $41,845,00070 in 2007 to $143,840,000 in 2014, a 244 percent increase.71 Furthermore,
private prison corporations have an incentive to push for every bed to be full; according to a 2014 CCA
investor presentation, “filling vacant beds would add ≈ $1.00 to [Earnings Per Share] & [Adjusted Funds From
Operations] per share.”72

8 | PAYOFF: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota | April 2015

CCA Stock Prices

GEO Stock Prices

Above are graphs of CCA and GEO stock prices from 2010 through February 2015. CCA stock is up 21.56
percent in the past year and GEO stock is up 36.95 percent.73 The industry is confident in its further growth
despite recent criminal justice reforms — largely due to increasing demand for immigrant detention. As the
President and CEO of CCA explained in a call for investors, “I think… there’s always going to be a demand for
[immigration detention] beds. There is always going to be a strong demand regardless of what is being done
at the national level as far as immigration reform.”74 In the case of GEO, their positive outlook is so strong that
they expect to fill the new facilities they recently acquired through their acquisition of LCS, which have an
average occupancy rate of 50 percent.75 George C. Zoley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GEO, said
about the acquisition: “The recently announced reactivation of a significant portion of our beds in inventory
is indicative of the growing need for beds around the country, and this important strategic transaction will
further position GEO to meet the demand for correctional and detention bed space in the United States.”76
Though some might call such confidence in a dramatic increase of population foolhardy, private estimates
suggest that the private prison industry will acquire 80 percent of any future immigrant detention bed
increases.77

MEET THE TWO LARGEST PRIVATE PRISON
CORPORATIONS: CCA AND GEO GROUP
The two largest (and publicly traded) private prison corporations, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA)
and GEO Group, have a long-standing stake in the detention of immigrants. According to Tom Beasley,
who founded CCA, the nation’s oldest and largest for-profit prison corporation, in 1983 alongside T. Don
Hutto and Doctor Robert Crants, CCA was established on the idea that prisons could be sold “just like you
were selling cars, or real estate, or hamburgers.”78 In fact, CCA’s first venture upon its establishment was
an immigrant detention center in Houston called the Houston Processing Center (HPC). According to a
CCA spokesperson interviewed by Deportation Nation, the first iteration of the HPC was in the remains
of a shuttered local motel, where CCA held immigrants in detention while it built a new facility.79 The
company has since grown into a billion-dollar, publicly traded corporation that uses its profits to lobby
and contribute to campaigns that would benefit its business.80 GEO Group has
employed similar strategies since its inception in 1984. The company, then
called Wackenhut Corrections Corporation, secured its first prison contract to
detain 150 immigrants for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (now
Immigration and Customs Enforcement) at what is now the Aurora Processing
Center in Colorado.81 Between 2008 — just prior to the quota’s creation and right
as new government regulations began to require lobbyists to divulge specific
issue areas82 — and 2014, private prison companies spent $16,789,000 on federal
lobbying.83 Of this, CCA and GEO spent the lion’s share with a combined total of
$16,055,000.84 In this time the industry also supplied over $132,000 in campaign
contributions to members of Congress on the Appropriations Subcommittee
on Homeland Security, the birthplace and point of control for the immigrant
detention quota.85 The shrewdly targeted campaign contributions have been
documented and analyzed at length by multiple sources86,87 and indicate that
private prison companies are focusing efforts on swaying Congress members
with clout on immigration issues and in the Appropriations Committee.

CCA was
established on
the idea that
prisons could be
sold “just like you
were selling cars,
or real estate, or
hamburgers.”

A prime example of the close relationship between legislators and the private
prison industry is illustrated by the drafting of Arizona’s controversial S.B. 1070 bill. S.B. 1070 was an
attempt to create new classes of state crimes related to immigration and immigration status, including
state felonies.88 By the time S.B. 1070 made it to the floor, 30 out of the bill’s 36 co-sponsors had received
campaign contributions from private prison companies as well as private prison lobbyists.89 When Governor
Jan Brewer signed it into law she did so after receiving substantial campaign contributions from CCA
executives and hiring former CCA lobbyists as her top aides.90 Lawmakers also inserted this concession to
the prison industry: “[S.B. 1070] stipulates that a person is not eligible for suspension or commutation of
sentence or release on any basis until the sentence imposed is served.”91 An S.B. 1070 fact sheet created by
the Arizona state Senate admitted, “The fiscal impact is unknown; however, there may be additional costs
associated with criminal prosecution and detention of persons who are accused and convicted of the crimes
established in this legislation.”92 Evidently, CCA felt that these “additional costs” presented an opportunity
well worth pursuing.

10 | PAYOFF: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota | April 2015

LOBBYING: PRIVATE PRISON CORPORATIONS’ SHADY
BUT LUCRATIVE “INVESTMENTS”
Private prison corporations have long claimed that they do not lobby on immigration policy that affects
their business. GEO states in its annual 10-K report required by the Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) that it “has never taken a position on incarceration
or immigrant detention policies”93 and tells the public that it “has never directly
or indirectly lobbied to influence immigration policy,” has “not discussed any
immigration reform related matters with any members of Congress,” and “will not
participate in the current immigration reform debate.” 94 CCA asserts that “our policy
prohibits us from engaging in lobbying or advocacy efforts that would influence
enforcement efforts, parole standards, criminal laws, and sentencing policies.”95
However, these same corporations have spent over $13 million on federal lobbying
between 2008 and 2014. In the words of immigrant advocate Peter CervantesGautschi, “that’s a lot of money to listen quietly.”96 Private prison corporations’
own documents undermine their argument that they do not lobby or otherwise
advocate for increased numbers of people in their detention centers. In 2011, a
lobbyist for Immigration Centers of America-Farmville, a private prison corporation,
wrote in a lobbying disclosure report that they “assisted Immigration Centers of
America-Farmville to reach maximum inmate capacity.”

The quota

Furthermore, both CCA and GEO Group list immigration reform and other
liberalization efforts as threats to their business outlooks in documents filed with
the SEC. In its annual 10-K report released in February 2015, CCA admits that “We
depend on a limited number of governmental customers for a significant portion
of our revenues. We currently derive, and expect to continue to derive, a significant
portion of our revenues from a limited number of governmental agencies. The
loss of, or a significant decrease in, business from the [Bureau of Prisons (BOP)],
ICE, [U.S. Marshals Service (USMS)], or various state agencies could seriously
harm our financial condition and results of operations. The three primary federal
governmental agencies with correctional and detention responsibilities, the BOP,
ICE, and USMS, accounted for 44% of our total revenues for the fiscal year ended
December 31, 2014 ($724.2 million).”97

stability for these
companies at
taxpayer expense,
a particularly
attractive
“insurance policy”
against the risks
posed to their
business by the
prospect of federal
immigration
reform.

GEO also stated in their 10-K report that “Immigration reform laws which are currently a focus for legislators
and politicians at the federal, state and local level also could materially adversely impact us.” 98 This reveals a
substantial profit motive to lobby not only for an increase in privatization, but also for the maintenance and
increase in size of the overall immigrant detention system — including the immigrant detention quota. In
fact, the quota creates artificial stability for these companies at taxpayer expense, a particularly attractive
“insurance policy” against the risks posed to their business by the prospect of federal immigration reform.
This could explain why since the quota’s implementation, the industry has spent 61 percent of its total
lobbying expenses in quarters when it lobbied on the DHS Appropriations Subcommittee, the birthplace
and point of control for the quota.99
Substantiating these speculations on private prison industry profit incentives for lobbying, CCA and GEO
Group have filed lobbying disclosure documents indicating that they lobby directly on issues related to
immigration detention appropriations and immigration reform legislation. Between 2008 and 2014, the
following phrases appear repeatedly in CCA and GEO lobbying documents: “Issues related to comprehensive
immigration reform” (GEO Group, 2013), “Issues relating to housing of ICE prison inmatesg and transportation

of federal prisoners to be deported along the border region of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California”
(GEO Group, 2014), “Issues and funding related to the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration
and Customs Enforcement” (CCA, 2009), “FY 2014 and FY 2015 Department of Homeland Security
appropriations — provisions related to privately-operated ICE detention
facilities” (CCA, 2014).100 These documents reveal considerable expenditures on
the DHS Appropriations Subcommittee as well as on immigrant detention and
immigration issues as a whole.

“That’s a lot of
money to listen
quietly.”

Below are charts illustrating the extent of this lobbying. Chart 2-A examines the
lobbying practices of CCA, the largest private prison company and the one that
has historically been most active in lobbying and in directing funds specifically
toward lobbying the DHS Appropriations Subcommittee. The first line series
documents the total amount of money spent on lobbying by CCA each year ($13,635,000 total from 2008 to
2014).101 The second line series demonstrates the amount of money spent in quarters where CCA specifically
lobbied the DHS Appropriations Subcommittee ($9,760,000 from 2008 to 2014).102 The third line series
illustrates the total amount spent in quarters where CCA lobbied on immigration or immigrant detention
issues, including but not limited to lobbying the DHS Appropriations Subcommittee ($10,560,000 from 2008
to 2014).103 Lobbying directed at alternatives to detention (ankle bracelet monitoring and regular check-ins
with law enforcement) has been excluded from all calculations of immigration lobbying for the purposes
of more accurately tracking detention, although GEO does have a direct profit incentive in alternatives to
detention through its subsidiary BI Technologies. Additionally, vaguely defined lobbying issues referencing
detention (ex. Issues pertaining to the construction and management of privately-operated prisons and
detention facilities) have been excluded. Lobbying is disclosed quarterly and spending is not broken out
by issue, though specific issues are listed on each disclosure form. Therefore, for both the second line
series (DHS appropriations lobbying) and third line series (immigration issues lobbying), a substantial but
unknown portion of CCA’s lobbying expenditures were used for DHS appropriations and immigration
lobbying, respectively.

Additionally, Chart 2-B shows that CCA spent an incredible percentage of its overall lobbying resources
on immigration-related issues, including specifically targeting the DHS appropriations process. Since
2010, CCA has spent at least 75 percent of its lobbying expenditures in quarters where it has directly
lobbied the DHS Appropriations Subcommittee.104 Overall, from 2008-2014, the corporation has spent 77
percent of its lobbying resources in quarters when it lobbied on immigration issues.105 In 2011 alone, CCA
spent $1,940,000 — 97 percent of its total lobbying — in quarters when it lobbied on immigration issues,
including $1,660,000 in quarters where it lobbied on DHS appropriations.106
Chart 2-Ah

*
*

12 | PAYOFF: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota | April 2015

Chart 2-B h

*
*

Chart 2-C documents the total amount of money spent by CCA and GEO Group in quarters when they
lobbied on immigration issues between 2008 and 2014 and in quarters when they lobbied the DHS
Appropriations Subcommittee. Together, these corporations have spent $11,020,000 in quarters when
they lobbied on immigration issues from 2008-2014, 98 percent of all private prison corporations’ lobbying
on immigration.107 Additionally, they have spent 69 percent of their total lobbying resources in quarters
when they lobbied on immigration issues, and 61 percent in quarters where they lobbied on DHS
appropriations.108 In fact, an incredible 58 percent of the $16,789,000 private prison lobbying from 20082014 occurred in quarters when they lobbied on the DHS Appropriations Subcommittee.109
Chart 2-C h

*
*

Chart 2-D shows the top lobbyists paid by private prison corporations by the total dollar amount lobbied
between 2007-2014.
Chart 2-D: Top 10 Private Prison Lobbyists, 2007-2014110
Lobbying Corporation

Private Prison Corporation

Total Amount Paid (2007-2014)

CCA - Bart VerHulst & Jeremy Wiley
Mc Bee Strategic Consulting, LLC
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP
Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen Bingel & Thomas, Inc.
Lionel “Leo” Aguirre
Podesta Group, Inc.*
Sisco Consulting, LLC*
Navigators Global, LLC
Ridge Policy Group
Public Policy Partners*

CCA
CCA
CCA
CCA
CCA & GEO
CCA & GEO
CCA
GEO
GEO
GEO

$9,840,000
$2,270,000
$2,130,000
$1,240,000
$1,200,000
$680,000
$670,000
$610,000
$200,000
$160,000

*Not currently lobbying for either GEO or CCA

Both CCA and GEO Group have employed an impressive and bipartisan array of lobbyists. CCA has relied
most heavily on in-house lobbying team Bart VerHulst & Jeremy Wiley. The company also employs highpowered firms including McBee Strategic Consulting, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, and Mehlman
Castaganetti Rosen Bingel & Thomas.
GEO’s current lobbyists include Lionel “Leo” Aguirre, Navigators Global LLC, and the Ridge Policy Group,
named for and headed by former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge. These choices reflect a practice of hiring people
with influence in federal agencies related to immigrant detention. GEO’s most consistent lobbyist is Aguirre,
a Texan who has been on the company’s payroll since at least 2008 and also lobbies on behalf of GEO in his
home state. He is the widower of Lena Guerrero, a three-term Texas state representative and the first Latina
chair of the Texas Railroad Commission, the powerful agency in charge of regulating the oil and gas industry.
Lionel himself was an executive in the state comptroller’s office before moving into the private sector.111
The Ridge Policy Group is headed by Tom Ridge, the first head of the Department of Homeland Security,
the agency responsible for the contract with GEO to detain families in Karnes City, as well as its 11 other
immigrant detention facilities.112
Taken as a whole, lobbying data from private prison corporations along with their own statements about
profits and risk factors demonstrate a clear intent to maintain the immigrant detention quota and avoid
any policies that would cause a significant decrease in immigrant detention. Immigrants in detention have
become one of the fastest growing segments of the incarcerated population.113 Immigrant detention in ICE
facilities alone accounts for 13 percent of total revenue for CCA and 15.6 percent of revenue for GEO.114,115
The role the quota has played in artificially stabilizing these corporations’ revenue from federal immigration
enforcement has helped them to double in value since 2010, at the expense of taxpayers, detained
immigrants, their families, and communities.116 Undoubtedly, the existence of the quota plays a large part in
the corporations’ confidence expressed to shareholders that profits from immigrant detention facilities will
continue. As the CCA President and CEO put it: “There is always going to be a strong demand [for immigrant
detention beds] regardless of what is being done at the national level as far as immigration reform.”117 The
exorbitant expenses private prison corporations feel obligated to spend to convince lawmakers to maintain
such high levels of immigrant detention, the overt racism of the legislators who first dreamed up the quota,
and the unprecedented nature of a congressionally mandated law enforcement quota seriously call into
question both its necessity and morality.

14 | PAYOFF: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota | April 2015

HUMAN COST
While the non-monetary effects of the quota may be mere externalities to private prison corporations,
this policy has concrete human costs to people who don’t have the power or resources to buy the ears of
legislators. Since its implementation, this arbitrary quota has created headaches
and heartaches for those detained, their families and communities, and even DHS
and ICE (by their own admission).118 Each day thousands of families are separated
by ICE.119 The following testimonies from people who have experienced detention
first-hand show the harm that is done by the immigrant detention quota, and the
system of immigrant detention as a whole.i

MARICHUY LEAL
Detained 9 months in CCA-run Eloy Detention Center in Arizona
Marichuy was brought to the U.S. from Sinaloa, Mexico when she was 6 years
old and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. In her youth, she was sentenced to a year
in Arizona State Prison in Yuma for drug charges. “I was going through a lot
of problems with my family because they wouldn’t accept me for who I am, a
trans woman,” Marichuy said. After serving a year in prison, she was deported
to Mexico because of her immigration status.
After being deported, Marichuy was tortured in Nogales, Mexico because of
her identity as a transgender woman. She was stabbed and has a scar on her
head where she was attacked. She fled to Agua Prieta, Mexico but her attackers
were following her so she presented herself at the Douglas, Arizona border to
seek asylum in the U.S. Rather than encountering safety, she was immediately
sent to the CCA-operated Eloy Detention Center in May 2013 where she was
placed in a unit with 250 men. She was repeatedly called “faggot” by the
men she was detained with, which the guards ignored. There was no privacy
for showers, and Marichuy recounts that the guards and other detained
men would watch the trans women while they showered. She and other
transgender women would try to put up a curtain when they showered so the
guards and other men wouldn’t be able to see them, but they were written up
for doing so.

Marichuy, on left, leads a march to free Nicoll, another transgender
woman in immigrant detention.

While the nonmonetary effects
of the quota
may be mere
externalities to
private prison
corporations,
this policy has
concrete human
costs to people
who don’t have
the power or
resources to
buy the ears of
legislators.

Marichuy says that she was repeatedly sexually
harassed by the man who was her “cell mate.” She
remembers that when she told her unit manager
about the harassment, he said that she would
just have to deal with it because they didn’t have
any open cells. When she talked back to the unit
manager, resisting this decision, they put her in
segregation for two days as punishment. After
she was released from segregation, she was
returned to her cell with the same man who she
had complained had harassed her. The night she
returned to the cell, she says, the man raped and
beat her in retaliation for her complaining to the
guards. The guards took her to the hospital, then

returned her to segregation for a week. Afterwards, Marichuy faced bullying from the guards and other
detainees, who would tease her about her rape, saying “you know you liked it.” “The hardest part was…
the bullying,” Marichuy said. “It was simply horrible. Every time they would tell me I would run to my
room and cry.”

“My torture in

Mexico didn’t
[it]kept
going in the
detention center
where supposedly
I was going to be
safe...Supposedly
ICE has a policy that
no discrimination
and no abuse is
tolerated in the
detention centers
and that’s not true.
Trans women and
the LGBT community
aren’t safe in
detention centers. I
wasn’t safe.”

“They put me in segregation punishing me,” Marichuy said. She said that
what ICE officials call “protective custody” is really solitary confinement. She
describes segregation as a place “where they keep you 24/7 locked up in a cell.
They only take you out for an hour to shower and when they pull you out to
shower they handcuff you. When you walk out of the cell there’s a little window,
you put your hand up there before they open the door and they handcuff you
and they take you to the shower. There are some cages, you put your hand out,
they take the handcuffs, you shower...again handcuffs, and then back to your
cell.”
There was a time during detention when she attempted to commit suicide.
“[There are] a lot of psychological problems you suffer like depression for all the
punishment they do in there. When you’re being punished and discriminated
in there you can’t do nothing about it,” Marichuy said. “There’s a certain point
that you just give up on everything.” She said there were also other trans
women who tried to kill themselves while she was there because they couldn’t
deal with how they were treated at the detention center.
“My torture in Mexico didn’t finish. My torture in Mexico kept going in the
detention center where supposedly I was going to be safe,” Marichuy said.
“Supposedly ICE has a policy that no discrimination and no abuse is tolerated
in the detention centers and that’s not true. Trans women and the LGBT
community aren’t safe in detention centers. I wasn’t safe. We’re asking for
help…but ICE and CCA…just punish us.”
Comparing the Arizona State Prison with the CCA-managed Eloy ICE detention
center, Marichuy says that even though it’s still a jail, she “always wanted to
be in [Arizona State] prison where I [had been] rather than suffering all that
discrimination and abuse that’s going on inside the [Eloy] detention center.”
Even though she has heard reports of abuses against trans women in the
Arizona State Prison, she felt like there was more respect from the guards. She
also had more privacy there, as she had her own cell and showers had curtains.
In contrast, Marichuy could only describe the conditions at Eloy as “something
terrible.”

Marichuy was released from Eloy in January 2014 after paying a $7500
bond and continues to fight her asylum case. She is now part of the Queer
Undocumented Immigrant Project (QUIP) as the coordinator of visitation for
trans and LGBTQ immigrants in Eloy. The organization provides support letters, visitation, and counseling
to trans and LGBTQ people detained at Eloy. They also participate in organizing marches and to put
pressure on ICE to release trans women from detention centers.
“Releasing transgender [people] from detention centers is going to give us more power,” Marichuy said.
“My goal is to close the detention centers…or at least change the policies they have. I don’t want other
trans or LGBTQ people to have the same experience I had in the detention centers…That’s why I’m here
fighting for justice.”

16 | PAYOFF: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota | April 2015

SOLOMON
Detained 5 months in Port Isabel, South Texas Detention Complex (GEO) and Stewart Detention Center (CCA) in
Georgia
Solomon came to the United States in March 2014 fleeing political persecution in his home country
of Ethiopia. He was imprisoned by the Ethiopian government for 9 months
for supporting his brother, a political activist, who was garnering votes as an
opposition party leader. A month after he got out of prison in Ethiopia, the
government sent him a court paper. He knew that he would not be released
again if he returned, so he fled to Sudan with his wife and daughter and stayed
in hiding there for nearly a month. Solomon then paid a smuggler $20,000
from his business that he sold to get him and his family to Mexico. They
drove to the Mexican border city of Reynosa and were put in the immigration
detention center at the border. Solomon said that he was one of the lucky
ones who the taxi driver took straight to the border checkpoint. He recounted
hearing of others taken to the “mafia” with the collusion of local police and held
for ransom until their families could pay for their release to the border. “The
police and mafia are the same,” he said.

“They treat you
like a criminal,”
he said. “Even in
my country when
I go to prison I’m
never cuffed like
that.”

“Immigration is terrifying,” Solomon said. He said that it was cold and they
provided only a plastic blanket. The day after they arrived at the immigration
center, they took his wife and young daughter to another wing and transferred him to Port Isabel
Detention Center in Los Fresnos, Texas. He was held in a large room with 80 or 90 people with 3 toilets
and 2 showers in view of everyone. “The worst part is Africans don’t like to see somebody using the
bathroom,” Solomon said. “We spent 4 days without using it.”

He spent 4 or 5 days in Port Isabel, was transferred to South Texas Detention Complex in Frio, Texas for
2 weeks, and then was transferred to Stewart Detention Center in Atlanta for nearly 5 months. In total,
he was detained for 5 months and 15 days. “The worst part is we were handcuffed, from the top to the
[bottom],” Solomon said. When being transferred from South Texas to Atlanta, Georgia, they spent 3 or
4 hours on the bus, and then a plane flight, continuously handcuffed. Solomon recalled that when they
were transferred between each location, they were put in a smaller room with only a cement floor and
no bed for a day or two. “You are stuck for 24 hours in one room...that makes you sick,” he said.
Speaking of the regimented prison schedules, being told when to go to sleep and being called for
breakfast and lunch at the same time each day, Solomon said, “they treat you like a baby.” Still, he said
that the Stewart Detention Center was an improvement over the Texas detention centers because at
least there the detained immigrants could go outside for an hour, and were allowed to walk outside to
the “chow hall” in another building rather than having food brought to their cells. He said that in the
South Texas Detention Complex, there were procedures that treated detained immigrants like criminals.
For example, a guard would walk behind each handcuffed detainee whenever they were transferred
between different holding areas within the facility.
“The suffering starts from immigration,” Solomon said, emphasizing how frequently the immigrants were
searched at the border detention center. He said that he never expected to be detained when he came
to the U.S. “They treat you like a criminal,” he said. “Even in my country when I go to prison I’m never
cuffed like that.”
Solomon has now won his asylum case and is living in a transitional shelter. He is working to support his
wife and 2-year-old daughter, and hopes to find a better paying job and begin saving towards a house
for his family.

MUHAMMAD NAZRY (NAZ) MUSTAKIM
Detained 10 months in South Texas Detention Complex in Pearsall, Texas

HOPE MUSTAKIM, Naz’s wife and advocate
Naz was brought to the U.S. from Singapore as a child, and was a long-time green card holder. In 2005
he was arrested for possession with intent to deliver, successfully completed rehabilitation, and in 2007
accepted a plea bargain for 10 years probation. He was never advised by an
immigration attorney in court, so never told that by accepting the plea bargain
his green card would be revoked. Naz got married in 2010, had a steady job as a
supervisor at a call center, and even renewed his green card — apparently with no
problem — the same year.

“Are you coming

home?”

In March 2011, immigration officers showed up at newlyweds Naz and Hope’s
doorstep at 7 a.m. “We thought it was his probation officer,” Hope said. “He went to
the door… and it was 4 fully-armed ICE officers, so he was like, ‘can I help you?’” They then told him that
he was being put in removal proceedings due to his felony drug charge. Naz asked if he could get his
coat and tell his wife, and ICE sent a female agent into the room with the couple. “So he woke me up and
told me that immigration police were here and I said ‘who are they looking for?’” Hope said. “And he was
like, well, it’s me.”
The couple had no idea what it meant to be put in removal
proceedings, and had only recently began watching
documentaries on the border and immigration issues. “It was just
so far off our radar,” Hope said. She recalls that she started crying
when she figured out they were taking Naz, and the ICE officer
in the room told her not to worry, that she could bail him out, he
would have a hearing in a year, and you can ask the judge to lower
the bond — none of which turned out to be true. “They were just
feeding us stuff so they didn’t have to deal with the emotions,”
Hope said.
At that time, Naz was a supervisor at a call center who had just
built his own team for a project that started the week he was
detained. “When I got picked up on the way to the Waco office I
text my supervisor saying that hey, I’m going to be late. Immigration officers came knocking at my door,
and it’ll be straightened out but I’m going to be late,” Naz said. “That day I had a big meeting with our
clients. As things unraveled more and more, I was like, I might have to miss today; I have to go down
to San Antonio to take care of something.” He called his wife and told her that he
couldn’t bond out at the Waco office and had to go to Pearsall, a town they had
never heard of, 4 hours south. He still expected to take a bus home that day.
When Hope didn’t hear anything from Naz for 24 hours, she searched online for
a number for “Pearsall immigration” and found the number for the South Texas
Detention Center. She called and said she thought they had her husband there
and they asked for his A number.”j Hope recalled that she didn’t even know what
an A-number was. “They were just so rushed and disinterested.” They told her Naz
would call when he got out of holding.
When Naz first arrived at the South Texas Detention Center, he was confused
because “what they told him was, you’re going to a court hearing for a bond,” Hope
said. “He shows up and he’s like, where’s the court? He thought he was going to
an office building.” Naz said that “whenever they brought us to STDC, there were

18 | PAYOFF: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota | April 2015

hundreds of us being herded in.” He was put in a holding tank with about 50 other people. “It’s like a
jail,” Naz said. “It was filthy and there were people sleeping just waiting to be
called up.” He didn’t speak Spanish, so was disoriented by commands given by
the guards. “It was like something camisa something your shirt,” Naz remembers.
“They wanted us to take everything off except for your pants and your shirt and
put it in the bin. They were screaming at us telling us that.”
The people being processed into STDC were asked if they were going to fight
their case. If they said yes, as did Naz, they stayed in holding to wait for space
in the dorms to open up. If they said no they were taken to sign their voluntary
departure papers, without consulting with an attorney. Naz waited 24 hours
there and then lined up “and they gave us a mattress and 3 sets of clothes, a
blanket and toothbrush...and that was when I was like, I guess I’m going to be
here more than a day.”

“Even though it’s
a civil immigrant
detention center
it’s run more like a
prison”

It wasn’t until two weeks in detention that he got to meet with an ICE officer and found out that he didn’t
get a bond. “That’s two weeks where you’re like, did you go to court, did you get a bond, are you coming
home?” Hope said. “The first [time Hope came to visit] was very, very sad,” Naz said. “We haven’t seen each
other for 2 or 3 weeks and we were newlyweds…we just sat down and looked at each other and then we
just cried.” There are no contact visits allowed at STDC, so they touched their hands together through the
glass. They couldn’t feel each other, so they would knock on the glass
to feel the vibration. “It’s like we are worse criminals than the people in
prison,” Naz said.
In detention, the day started at 4:30 in the morning, when they were
sometimes rudely awakened by guards banging on the bunks and
shouting at them to wake up for breakfast. “The whole place is run
by the detainees themselves,” Naz said. He worked in the kitchen and
cleaning the holding tank. “Just in the kitchen, there are 20 people
each shift and there are 4 shifts, so that’s 80 detainees working.” They
also invent competitions so the detainees will clean their dorms.
Detainees who work get paid $3 per day. “It’s weird how we get to
work in the detention facility when we can’t work out in public,” Naz
said.
“Even though it’s a civil immigrant detention center it’s run more like a prison / homeless shelter. We get
screamed at, we get yelled at, we get threats...if you don’t listen you’ll go into the hole,” Naz said. “There’s
always the count every so often. Once I was on the phone and I was actually
praying with my wife and I was trying to finish up. I was running late and so
they called the sergeant and made a big deal out of it and said, I’m gonna
throw you in the hole.” There was nothing to do, but even the little rings they
would make out of bottle caps to pass the time were considered contraband.
Naz also missed seeing the grass, as even the recreation area is bricked up to
the sky with bars on top. He remembers cleaning the holding tank with a door
to the outside “and I can see far in the distance there’s trees out there and I’m
like, okay I’m still on Earth.”

“I was disoriented
the whole time
- 10 months. I
felt like it was
a bad dream, a
nightmare.”

Getting adequate medical care was nearly impossible. Ibuprofen is prescribed
for everything, whether a cold or if you fell of your bunk. Naz was told to put
in a request for a band-aid for an open burn wound, even though processing
a request takes at least two days. He was also told to put in a request when he
fell on his back playing basketball and was in severe pain. He did, but then went to the doctor that night
and said he had to see a doctor now. But when he told the guard that his level of pain was 8 (“because I

wasn’t dying”) he didn’t hear anything. At morning, he was required to
work but because he was up and walking around, he was again told to
simply put in a request.

“It’s like daily you’re

just staring down
a black hole and
you don’t feel like
you’re anyone to
anyone. Even as a
U.S. citizen, I felt so
betrayed.”

For Hope, “It was the most surreal thing. Just
totally, completely unexpected,” she said.
“Some people live in fear, which is terrible,
and I feel like, is it worse to live in fear and
have it happen, or to be so totally ignorant
and shocked by it. I was disoriented the whole
time — 10 months. I felt like it was a bad dream, a nightmare.” She spent $400
a month to talk to him on the phone, and a fortune in legal fees. She was in
college at Baylor and almost had to quit because she didn’t know how they
would pay for it. People paid for their mortgage and churches would open
their doors when she came to visit Naz twice a month.

One court case, where they expected to bail out Naz, was postponed when the
prosecutors for DHS advised their attorney to go in a different direction with
their case, and they agreed it was best in the long term. Hope remembers, “the
judge was flipping through his calendar and he was like, ‘November, no, no.
How about December, hmm maybe January… Naz turned around and looked
at me and his face was just, he was so upset and shocked and I knew I had to be strong for him in that
moment because if not we would have both lost it.”
“That’s the hard thing,” Naz said. “In criminal court, if you go to jail you know how long you’re going to
serve. In the immigration detention center you’re just waiting.” “You’re at the mercy of everyone else...and
their backlog,” Hope said. “It’s like cruel and unusual punishment...there’s no end in sight. Your families
don’t know when it’s going to end… It’s like daily you’re just staring down a black hole and you don’t feel
like you’re anyone to anyone. Even as a U.S. citizen, I felt so betrayed.”
Hope was Naz’s biggest advocate, communicating with their attorney and fighting for better offers. At
one point she was told by the D.A. that the best deal she could give Naz was to serve 5 years in prison
and then go back to ICE custody and then fight his immigration case all over again. “It was an election
season, and she said ‘I can’t appear soft on crime,’” Hope said. “She had her own motives. When Naz’s
attorney told me that, I was crying… does she even know that he’s married, does she even know that we
want to have kids, and that 5 years is a long time?” Eventually, the case was dropped because there had
never been enough evidence in Naz’s original drug case, which the couple found out second-hand from
talking to a reporter. Still, ICE wouldn’t release Naz until an Al-Jazeera reporter brought cameras into the
facility to talk to him. “I don’t know why they were trying so hard to keep him there,” Hope said.
Naz was finally released in February 2012 after being detained for 10 months — longer than he and
Hope had been married before he was detained. The couple now live in Waco with their baby son. They
regularly speak about their experience at events around
the country and organize against detention in their own
community. “I don’t think private prisons like us very much,”
Naz said. “We’re done with this, but it’s not over for millions
of other people,” Hope said. “Anytime you have a quota
that you have to meet, you’re automatically going to lean
toward incarcerating someone as opposed to freeing them,
because then you have to go and find someone else… I
don’t think we’re ever going to see a real big bipartisan
push [for reform] whenever money is incentivizing
detention.”

20 | PAYOFF: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota | April 2015

HENRY TARACENA

Detained 5 months at the GEO-run Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, WA
Henry came to the U.S. from Tabasco, Mexico when he was 19, and has now
lived in the U.S. for more than 20 years. In 2009, he was unjustly deported
because of a suspended license. He was detained for only a few days, without
ever being told that he was eligible to apply for bond. The same year, he
returned to the U.S. and continued working without incident.

“I never went
back to being
the same
person I was
before.”

In 2014, ICE raided his workplace looking for him, specifically. “They were
going around looking for me as if I were a criminal,” Henry said. “Everyone
at my work thought that I was a criminal… but in reality it was nothing.”
Henry spent 5 months inside the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma,
Washington. “When I entered the detention center my life changed,” Henry said. “I never went back to
being the same person I was before.”

Henry described the severely lacking conditions in the GEO-run detention center. While detained, he
saw people with cancer and other serious illnesses not cared for properly, and people in pain who had
to wait long stretches of time for medical care. “It really scared me,” he said. He also said that recreation
was dangerous due to the nature of the space. “They have a small room that according to them is the
recreation area… but it’s so small that someone was always hurting themselves… because it was a
square with cement walls.”
The air conditioning was extremely cold, and smelled of chemicals, to the point that people developed
sores on their skin from prolonged exposure. He also described unsanitary conditions full of dirt
and mold. The facility was cleaned with only mild soap, and all the clothes were washed together
interchangeably, causing illnesses to spread easily. Food was not nutritious, and given in small portions.
“[People] entered healthy and came out sick,” Henry said.
The detained immigrants worked for $1 per day to run the facility. Henry said he didn’t mind working
to occupy himself, but that the guards would treat them as if they were obligated to work all the time.
“Inside there is a [guard] that shouts at the workers horribly,” he said. “They make you feel like you are a
criminal, not a detained person. [The guards] think that they’re superior to us… they didn’t respect us as
if we were people.” He also described how in the kitchen, where he worked, detainees were forced to sign
many forms related to using knives and cooking equipment without adequate time to read what they
were signing.
Knowing that he was unable to leave his room, or even see outside was the most difficult part of being
detained for Henry, who suffers from PTSD. “There are no windows in the detention center. You’re
enclosed,” he said. “I explained perfectly to the director of the detention center that I was suffering
from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and that I had to be in a place [with
windows], and he told me no,” Henry said. “My psychologist was telling me
that yes, I should be in a room where at least there were windows and I
could see outside.” The majority of rooms were large with no windows that
allowed people to see outside, which Henry said makes people become more
depressed. “The detention centers aren’t set up well to care for people,” Henry
said. “They need to be closed.”

“[People]
entered healthy
and came out
sick”

While in detention, Henry helped to organize a hunger strike, the second
at the facility, by sending messages from the kitchen to other “pods” of
detainees who were meeting with religious groups from the outside. They
sent them notes on slips of paper, asking if they would help support them in a hunger strike to expose
the injustices that were occurring inside the facility. Those who worked in the kitchen or laundry room

sent notes to other leaders, arranging a time to meet in the library to plan their demands and what
action they would take. For three days, Henry said around 900 detainees refused to eat, himself among
them. “I chose to [participate in the hunger strike] because [I saw] other people
suffering, people not receiving medical care, minors arriving at the detention
center without anyone having checked that they’re under age… there were
many calamities… we had to do something. One person by himself can’t do
anything but together we can do a great deal.”

“One person by
himself can’t do
anything but
together we can do
a great deal.”

After the third day of the hunger strike, the ICE field office director met with
some of the detainees to ask what they wanted. They described the problems
with conditions at the facility, the high bonds ($7,500 was common), and
that people without criminal records were being placed in detention. They
promised changes, but Henry reflected that they should have gotten them in
writing because “they ignored us and many things have not changed.”

After being released from detention, Henry continued to communicate with leaders inside the detention
center to organize a third hunger strike at the facility. He helped coordinate with other advocates to
amplify the voices of the people inside the facility by protesting outside, and connecting with advocates
for hunger strikers at GEO immigrant detention facilities in the U.K. “The treatment of undocumented
people is unjust,” Henry said. “We did the hunger strike… principally because they are breaking up
families.”
Thinking of the children separated from one or both of their parents, and the trauma it causes them
gives him strength to continue fighting for meaningful reform to the immigration system. “Not only in
detention centers, but in
the entire U.S. the system
is bad,” Henry said. “Private
prisons are causing harm.”
Henry now lives with his
brother near Seattle and
has received a human
rights award for his
continued advocacy for
immigrants detained at
the Northwest Detention
Center.

Henry, in blue, receives a human rights award for his leadership in the hunger strikes at Northwest
Detention Center.

22 | PAYOFF: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota | April 2015

CONCLUSIONS
The immigrant detention quota must be eliminated. The quota
enriches private prison corporations at taxpayer expense, and
further entrenches a system that punishes immigrants and tears
apart families. It is telling that such a quota mandated by Congress
does not exist in any other law enforcement agency, and that its
development was not in response to any change in immigration
patterns, but was highly influenced by political gain and personal
biases. The immigrant detention quota continues to be a prime
example of how money and political gain can drive policy decisions.
It serves as an “insurance policy” for private companies, artificially
stabilizing the immigrant detention industry at taxpayer expense.
It also provides political cover for congressional anti-immigrant
politicians who wish to bind the hands of any future administration
with a more lenient immigration enforcement policy. Those harmed
by the immigrant detention quota have far less power and money:
immigrants, their families, and the average American taxpayer.

•
•
•

•

•

A SNAPSHOT OF THE PRIVATE
IMMIGRANT DETENTION
INDUSTRY TODAY:

Private prison corporations operate 62%
of all ICE immigration detention beds in
the U.S.
Private prison corporations operate 9 of
the 10 largest ICE immigrant detention
centers in the U.S.
The industry is dominated by two
corporations - CCA and GEO - which
together operate 45% of total ICE
detention beds, and 72 percent of
privately contracted ICE detention beds.
Together, CCA and GEO are currently
under expansion to have the capacity
to detain 3,600 asylum-seeking mothers
and children.
Together, CCA and GEO spent
$11,020,000 in federal lobbying
in quarters when they lobbied on
immigration issues, from 2008-2014.
CCA spent $9,760,000 from 2008-2014
in quarters when they lobbied on the
DHS Appropriations Subcommittee,
which maintains the immigrant
detention quota language.
CCA and GEO are making record profits
spurred by their expansion farther into
immigrant detention, at $195,022,000
for CCA and $143,840,000 for GEO in
2014.

To fully honor the rights and dignity of
the immigrant community, DHS and ICE
•
must stop contracting with private prison
companies. The industry will always be
bound by the cardinal rule of corporate
survival: profit. CCA and GEO Group, as
publicly traded entities are obligated to act
•
in the best interest of their shareholders,
rather than in the interest of those they hold
in their facilities or the families they leave
behind. The private prison industry has
shown their willingness to spend exorbitant
sums lobbying legislators and contributing to campaigns in order to control their
“risk factors” and ensure the profitability of their business. This system encourages
legislators to follow the money rather than the best interest of those they govern, or
any moral compass, when making policy decisions on immigrant detention.
Ultimately, the practice of immigration detention must be wholly eliminated.
The directives that subject immigrants to detention and deportation are deeply
flawed, as shown by the stories of detained immigrants featured in this report.
These guidelines must be reexamined and alternatives to detention should
be implemented with the purpose of decreasing the number of immigrants in
detention. Asylum seekers such as Marichuy and Solomon, as well as asylumseeking families, should be immediately released to non-punitive community
support programs while their cases are evaluated. For immigrants who have grown
up in the U.S. and have committed a crime, subjecting them to an additional layer
of incarceration based solely on their immigration status unjustly punishes them
due to their identity, as does denying them a chance at the redemption afforded all
other individuals in society.

END NOTES
a.

Immigration issues lobbying calculations include the amount lobbied in quarters when issues related to immigration were
among the issues listed in the corporation’s disclosure form. A significant but unknown portion of lobbying expenditures in
these quarters was spent on immigration issues. Lobbying directed at alternatives to detention (ankle bracelet monitoring
and regular check-ins with law enforcement) has been excluded from all calculations of immigration lobbying for the
purposes of more accurately tracking detention, although GEO does have a direct profit incentive in alternatives to detention
through its subsidiary BI Technologies. Additionally, vaguely defined lobbying issues referencing detention (ex. Issues
pertaining to the construction and management of privately-operated prisons and detention facilities) have been excluded.

b.

DHS appropriations lobbying calculations include the amount lobbied in quarters when DHS appropriations was among the
issues the corporation listed in their lobbying disclosure form. A significant but unknown portion of lobbying expenditures in
these quarters was spent on DHS appropriations.

c.

Detention facilities for asylum-seeking mothers with children apprehended crossing the southern border.

d.

GEO’s Karnes County Residential Center is included in FY14 data, but has an ADP of only 84, a fraction of the women and
children detained at Karnes today. CCA’s South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, TX did not yet exist at the close of
FY14. Instead, FY14 statistics reflect family detention at Artesia Family Residential Center in New Mexico, an ICE-run facility
that was closed in December 2014.

e.

Private companies in legend from left to right: Corrections Corporation of America, GEO Group, Management and Training
Corporation, Emerald Corrections, LCS Corrections, Community Education Centers, LaSalle Corrections, Immigration Centers
of America

f.

LCS was purchased by GEO in January 2015. These statistics are from fiscal year 2014, so reflect the two companies as separate
entities.

g.

Tellingly, this GEO Group lobbyist refers to individuals in civil immigration detention custody as “prison inmates” though
people in civil detention are not incarcerated.

h.

In all lobbying expenditure charts, DHS appropriations lobbying means the amount lobbied in quarters when DHS
appropriations was among the issues the corporation listed in their lobbying disclosure form. Immigration issues lobbying
means the amount lobbied in quarters when issues related to immigration, such as immigration reform legislation, were
among the issues listed in the corporation’s disclosure form. Lobbying directed at alternatives to detention (ankle bracelet
monitoring and regular check-ins with law enforcement) has been excluded from all calculations of immigration lobbying
for the purposes of more accurately tracking detention, although GEO does have a direct profit incentive in alternatives to
detention through its subsidiary BI Technologies. Additionally, vaguely defined lobbying issues referencing detention (ex.
Issues pertaining to the construction and management of privately-operated prisons and detention facilities) have been
excluded. For both DHS appropriations and immigration lobbying line series, a significant but unknown portion of lobbying
expenditures in the quarters included went towards these issues. Due to the way the data is collected, it is impossible to
calculate expenditures on these issues more specifically.

i.

The following testimonies are based on interviews with formerly detained immigrants. Though everything contained in these
testimonies is consistent with reports we hear regularly, Grassroots Leadership did not independently fact check their stories.
Testimonies are based on how each individual perceived their experience, and told from their unique perspective.

j.

Alien numbers, also called A-numbers are identification numbers issued to non-citizens by the U.S. government.

24 | PAYOFF: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota | April 2015

REFERENCES
1.

U.S. Unauthorized Immigration Population Trends, 1990-2012. (2013, September
23). Pew Research Centers Hispanic Trends Project. http://www.pewhispanic.
org/2013/09/23/unauthorized-trends/#All

2.

Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2010. (2009, October 28).
Government Printing Office. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ83/pdf/
PLAW-111publ83.pdf

28.

President Bush Signs Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act. The
White House. October 4, 2006. http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/
releases/2006/10/20061004-2.html

29.

Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2007. (2006, January 3).
Government Printing Office. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-109hr5441enr/
pdf/BILLS-109hr5441enr.pdf

30.

Pianin, E. (2005, June 19). A senator’s shame. The Washington Post. http://www.
washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/18/AR2005061801105.html

31.

Congressional Record, Volume 147 Issue 115 (Thursday, September 6, 2001). p.
16581 - 16584. Google Books. http://bit.ly/1MLbqxc

32.

Taylor, L. (2014, March 12). Rights groups want to end mandate that keeps
immigration detention beds full. Imagine 2050. http://imagine2050.newcomm.
org/2014/03/12/end-the-quota-immigrant-dentention-bed- mandate/#sthash.
LOluTVIh.dpuf

3.

Immigrant detention bed quota timeline. (2014, March 20). National Immigrant
Justice Center. http://immigrantjustice.org/sites/immigrantjustice.org/files/
Immigration_Detention_Bed_Quota_Timeline_2014_03_1.pdf

4.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ERO Custody Management Division.
List of facilities analyzed by Grassroots Leadership from documents titled “DMCP
Authorized Facilities” and “ICE Authorized Facilities Matrix.” March 5, 2015.

33.

Expose & Close: Executive Summary. (n.d.). Detention Watch Network. http://www.
detentionwatchnetwork.org/sites/detentionwatchnetwork.org/files/ExposeClose/
Expose-Executive11-15.pdf

Immigrant detention bed quota timeline. (2014, March 20). National Immigrant
Justice Center. http://immigrantjustice.org/sites/immigrantjustice.org/files/
Immigration_Detention_Bed_ Quota_Timeline_2014_03_1.pdf

34.

FY 2013 ICE Immigration Removals. (n.d.). Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
https://www.ice.gov/removal-statistics/

5.

6.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ERO Custody Management Division.
List of facilities analyzed by Grassroots Leadership from documents titled “DMCP
Authorized Facilities” and “ICE Authorized Facilities Matrix.” March 5, 2015.

35.

Vicens, A. (2014, April 4). The Obama administration’s 2 million deportations,
explained. Mother Jones. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/obamaadministration-record-deportations

7.

Grassroots Leadership calculation from http://www.ice.gov/doclib/foia/reports/
ero-facts-and-statistics.pdf (2007) and analysis of “ICE Authorized Facilities Matrix”
document (2014). March 5, 2015.

36.

Deutch, T. (2013, June 5). H.R. 2217, Department of Homeland Security
Appropriations Act, 2014. Congressional Record. https://beta.congress.gov/
congressional-record/2013/6/5/house-section/article/H3129-1

8.

Grassroots Leadership analysis of LDA Reports (n.d.). U.S. Senate: Legislation &
Records.

37.

9.

Grassroots Leadership analysis of LDA Reports (n.d.). U.S. Senate: Legislation &
Records.

Taylor, L. (2014, March 12). Rights groups want to end mandate that keeps
immigration detention beds full. Imagine 2050. http://imagine2050.newcomm.
org/2014/03/12/end-the-quota-immigrant-dentention-bed- mandate/#sthash.
LOluTVIh.dpuf

10.

LDA Reports (n.d.). U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records.

38.

11.

Grassroots Leadership analysis of LDA Reports (n.d.). U.S. Senate: Legislation &
Records.

ICE FOIA Report, ERO Facts and Statistics. http://www.ice.gov/doclib/foia/reports/
ero-facts-and-statistics.pdf

39.

12.

Ibid.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ERO Custody Management Division. List of
facilities analyzed by Grassroots Leadership from document titled “ICE Authorized
Facilities Matrix.” March 5, 2015.

13.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ERO Custody Management Division. List of
facilities analyzed by Grassroots Leadership from document titled “ICE Authorized
Facilities Matrix.” March 5, 2015.

40.

Expose & Close: Executive Summary. (n.d.). Detention Watch Network. http://www.
detentionwatchnetwork.org/sites/detentionwatchnetwork.org/files/ExposeClose/
Expose-Executive11-15.pdf

14.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ERO Custody Management Division.
List of facilities analyzed by Grassroots Leadership from documents titled “DMCP
Authorized Facilities” and “ICE Authorized Facilities Matrix.” March 5, 2015.

41.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ERO Custody Management Division. List of
facilities analyzed by Grassroots Leadership from document titled “ICE Authorized
Facilities Matrix.” March 5, 2015.

15.

Ibid.

42.

Ibid.

16.

CCA 10-K SEC filing, February 2008. https://www.last10k.com/sec-filings/
CXW/0000950144-08-001419.htm

43.

Ibid.

44.

Ibid.

45.

Ibid.

46.

The math of immigrant detention: The runaway costs for immigration detention
do not add up to sensible policies. (n.d.). National Immigration Forum. http://www.
immigrationforum.org/images/uploads/mathofimmigrationdetention.pdf

47.

CCA Investor Presentation. February 2014. https://drive.google.com/drive/u/1/#folde
rs/0BxXblSbt3qwYc3U0NlhvS1ZsMDA/0BxXblSbt3qwYcmM2OFlTc3BjZjQ

48.

Ibid.

49.

Private prison companies making big bucks on locking up undocumented
immigrants. (2012, August 2). NY Daily News. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/
national/private-prison-companies-making-big- bucks-locking-undocumentedimmigrants-article-1.1127465#ixzz309brH592

50.

Kish, R., & Lipton, A. (2013, February 6). Do private prisons really offer savings
compared to their public counterparts?. Economic Affairs. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.
com.ezproxy.lib.utexas.edu/doi/10.1111/ecaf.12005/pdf

51.

Kunichoff, Y. (2012, July 27). “Voluntary” work program run in private detention
centers pays detained immigrants $1 a day. Truthout. http://truth-out.org/news/
item/10548-voluntary-work-program-run-in-private-detention-centers-paysdetained-immigrants-1-a-day

52.

Venters, H., Dasch-Goldberg, D., Rasmussen, A., & Keller, A. (2009, May 1). Into
the abyss: mortality and morbidity among detained immigrants. Human Rights
Quarterly. http://muse.jhu.edu.ezproxy.lib.utexas.edu/journals/human_rights_
quarterly/v031/31.2.venters.html

53.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ERO Custody Management Division.
List of facilities analyzed by Grassroots Leadership from documents titled “DMCP
Authorized Facilities” and “ICE Authorized Facilities Matrix.” March 5, 2015.

54.

ICE FOIA Report, ERO Facts and Statistics. http://www.ice.gov/doclib/foia/reports/
ero-facts-and-statistics.pdf & Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ERO Custody

17.

CCA 10-K SEC filing, February 2015. http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/
data/1070985/000119312515061839/d853180d10k.htm#fin853180_1

18.

GEO 10-K SEC filing February 2008. http://quote.morningstar.com/stock-filing/
Annual-Report/2007/12/30/t.aspx?t=XNYS:GEO&ft=10-K&d=3867146f1ead698c

19.

GEO 10-K SEC filing, February 2015. http://quote.morningstar.com/stock-filing/
Annual-Report/2014/12/31/t.aspx?t=XNYS:GEO&ft=10-K&d=28a59a1705dea99e02
cd90f5c8ae0faf

20.

Will Weissert, “Texas immigration family lockup will be nation’s largest,”
The Associated Press, December 15, 2014, http://www.thestate.
com/2014/12/15/3875832/texas-immigration-family-lockup.html.

21.

Jessie Degollado, “Karnes County approves family detention expansion,” KSAT,
December 16, 2014, http://www.ksat.com/content/pns/ksat/news/2014/12/16/
karnes-county-approves-family-detention-center-expansion.html.

22.

Emma Randles. The GEO Group acquires LCS Corrections, expanding their reach in
Texas. Texas Prison Bid’ness. January 27, 2015. http://www.texasprisonbidness.org/
immigration-detention/geo-group-acquires-lcs-corrections-expanding-their-reachtexas

23.

Source

24.

FY 1994 through FY2005 CRS presentation of published DHS data. http://
digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1712&context=key_
workplace

25.

Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. (2004, December 17).
Government Printing Office. <http://www.intelligence.senate.gov/laws/pl108-458.
pdf>

26.

Congressional Record, V. 151, Pt. 12, July 14 to July 22, 2005. Government Printing
Office. pg 16048-16049. July 14, 2005. http://bit.ly/193qkl6

27.

Document on file with author.

Management Division. List of facilities analyzed by Grassroots Leadership from
document titled “ICE Authorized Facilities Matrix.” March 5, 2015.
55.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ERO Custody Management Division. List of
facilities analyzed by Grassroots Leadership from document titled “ICE Authorized
Facilities Matrix.” March 5, 2015.

56.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ERO Custody Management Division. List of
facilities analyzed by Grassroots Leadership from document titled “ICE Authorized
Facilities Matrix.” March 5, 2015.

57.

Ibid.

58.

Management and Training Corporation

59.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ERO Custody Management Division. List of
facilities analyzed by Grassroots Leadership from document titled “ICE Authorized
Facilities Matrix.” March 5, 2015. Includes new family detention facilities not listed in
FY2014 data.

60.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ERO Custody Management Division. List of
facilities analyzed by Grassroots Leadership from document titled “ICE Authorized
Facilities Matrix.” March 5, 2015.

61.

Ibid.

62.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ERO Custody Management Division.
List of facilities analyzed by Grassroots Leadership from documents titled “DMCP
Authorized Facilities” and “ICE Authorized Facilities Matrix.” March 5, 2015.

63.

Ibid.

64.

Emma Randles. The GEO Group acquires LCS Corrections, expanding their reach in
Texas. Texas Prison Bid’ness. January 27, 2015. http://www.texasprisonbidness.org/
immigration-detention/geo-group-acquires-lcs-corrections-expanding-their-reachtexas

85.

Selway, W., & Newkirk, M. (2013, September 23). Congress Mandates Jail Beds for
34,000 Immigrants as Private Prisons Profit. Bloomberg. http://www.bloomberg.com/
news/2013-09-24/congress-fuels-private-jails-detaining-34-000-immigrants.html

86.

Ibid.

87.

Flatow, N. (2013, February 21). Republicans With Influence On Immigration
Debate Are Top Recipients Of Private Prison Contributions. Think Progress. http://
thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/02/21/1624061/report-republicans-with-influenceon-immigration-debate-are-top-recipients-of-private-prison-contributions/

88.

Arizona Senate Research. (2010, January 15). Arizona State Senate, Forty-ninth
Legislature, Second Regular Session, Fact Sheet on S.B. 1070. http://www.azleg.gov/
legtext/49leg/2r/summary/s.1070pshs.doc.htm

89.

Gaming the system: How the political strategies of private prison companies
promote ineffective incarceration policies. (2011, June 1). Justice Policy Institute.

90.

Cervantes-Gautschi, P. (n.d.). Wall Street & Our Campaign to Decriminalize
Immigrants. Social Policy. http://www.socialpolicy.org/index.php/component/
content/article/30-online-only-features/478-wall-street-a-our-campaign-todecriminalize-immigrants

91.

Ibid.

92.

Ibid.

93.

William Selway and Margaret Newkirk. Congress Mandates Private Jail Beds for
34,000 Immigrants. Bloomberg Business. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/
articles/2013-09-24/congress-fuels-private-jails-detaining-34-000-immigrants

94.

Pablo Paez, Vice President of GEO Group’s corporate relations (Fang, L., 2013)

95.

CCA 10-K SEC filing, February 2015. http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/
data/1070985/000119312515061839/d853180d10k.htm#fin853180_1

96.

Private prison companies making big bucks on locking up undocumented
immigrants. Associated Press. August 2, 2012. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/
national/private-prison-companies-making-big-bucks-locking-undocumentedimmigrants-article-1.1127465#ixzz309brH592

65.

Will Weissert, “Texas immigration family lockup will be nation’s largest,”
The Associated Press, December 15, 2014, http://www.thestate.
com/2014/12/15/3875832/texas-immigration-family-lockup.html.

66.

Ibid.

97.

67.

Jessie Degollado, “Karnes County approves family detention expansion,” KSAT,
December 16, 2014, http://www.ksat.com/content/pns/ksat/news/2014/12/16/
karnes-county-approves-family-detention-center-expansion.html.

CCA 10-K SEC filing, February 2015. http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/
data/1070985/000119312515061839/d853180d10k.htm#fin853180_1

98.

CCA 10-K SEC filing, February 2008. https://www.last10k.com/sec-filings/
CXW/0000950144-08-001419.htm

GEO 10-K SEC filing, February 2015. http://quote.morningstar.com/stock-filing/
Annual-Report/2014/12/31/t.aspx?t=XNYS:GEO&ft=10-K&d=28a59a1705dea99e02
cd90f5c8ae0faf

99.

69.

CCA 10-K SEC filing, February 2015. http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/
data/1070985/000119312515061839/d853180d10k.htm#fin853180_1

Grassroots Leadership analysis of LDA Reports (n.d.). U.S. Senate: Legislation &
Records.

100. LDA Reports. (n.d.). U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records.

70.

GEO 10-K SEC filing February 2008. http://quote.morningstar.com/stock-filing/
Annual-Report/2007/12/30/t.aspx?t=XNYS:GEO&ft=10-K&d=3867146f1ead698c

101. Grassroots Leadership analysis of LDA Reports (n.d.). U.S. Senate: Legislation &
Records.

71.

GEO 10-K SEC filing, February 2015. http://quote.morningstar.com/stock-filing/
Annual-Report/2014/12/31/t.aspx?t=XNYS:GEO&ft=10-K&d=28a59a1705dea99e02
cd90f5c8ae0faf

102. Ibid.

68.

72.

CCA Investor Presentation. February 2014. https://drive.google.com/drive/u/1/#folde
rs/0BxXblSbt3qwYc3U0NlhvS1ZsMDA/0BxXblSbt3qwYcmM2OFlTc3BjZjQ

73.

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/corrections-corporationof-america/index.html 3/3/2015.

74.

Wessler, S. (2013, February 14). CEO of largest private prison company: No worries
about immigration reform. Colorlines. http://colorlines.com/archives/2013/02/
ceo_of_largest_private_prison_company_in_us_says_hes_not_worried_about_
immigration_reform.html

75.

The GEO Group Announces Acquisition of Eight Correctional and Detention
Facilities Totalling More Than 6,500 Beds. Business Wire. January 26, 2015. http://
www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150126005618/en/GEO-Group-AnnouncesAcquisition-Correctional-Detention-Facilities#.VQnSRmbYl6g

76.

Ibid.

77.

The math of immigrant detention: The runaway costs for immigration detention
do not add up to sensible policies. (n.d.). National Immigration Forum. http://www.
immigrationforum.org/images/uploads/mathofimmigrationdetention.pdf

78.

The Dirty Thirty: Nothing to Celebrate About 30 Years of Corrections Corporation of
America. (n.d.). Grassroots Leadership. http://grassrootsleadership.org/cca-dirty-30

79.

“Houston Processing Center” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QPYCznI9MU

80.

Our History. (n.d.). Corrections Corporation of America. http://cca.com/our-history

81.

About Us. (n.d.). GEO Group. http://www.geogroup.com/about_us

82.

Lobbying Disclosure. (2008, January 1). Office of the Clerk: U.S. House of
Representatives. http://lobbyingdisclosure.house.gov/amended_lda_guide.html

83.

Grassroots Leadership analysis of LDA Reports. (n.d.). U.S. Senate: Legislation &
Records. http://www.senate.gov/legislative/Public_Disclosure/LDA_reports.htm

84.

Ibid.

103. Ibid.
104. Ibid.
105. Ibid.
106. Ibid.
107. Grassroots Leadership analysis of LDA Reports (n.d.). U.S. Senate: Legislation &
Records.
108. Ibid.
109. Ibid.
110. Grassroots Leadership analysis of LDA Reports (n.d.). U.S. Senate: Legislation &
Records.
111. Matt Pulle, “The GEO Group’s team of all-star lobbyists” Texas Watchdog, June
15, 2009 http://www.texaswatchdog.org/2009/06/the-geo-groups-team-of-allstar-lobbyists/ http://www.myplainview.com/article_a26a18b1-bc7a-56c9-be56af70f9593784.html
112. United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Accessed July 2, 2014 http://
www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/923796/000119312514264220/d755717d8k.htm
113. Mark Hugo Lopez and Michael T. Light. A Rising Share: Hispanics and Federal Crime.
Pew Research Center. http://www.pewhispanic.org/2009/02/18/a-rising-sharehispanics-and-federal-crime/
114. CCA 10-K SEC filing, February 2015. http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/
data/1070985/000119312515061839/d853180d10k.htm#fin853180_1
115. GEO 10-K SEC filing, February 2015. http://quote.morningstar.com/stock-filing/
Annual-Report/2014/12/31/t.aspx?t=XNYS:GEO&ft=10-K&d=28a59a1705dea99e02
cd90f5c8ae0faf
116. Selway, W., & Newkirk, M. (2013, September 23). Congress Mandates Jail Beds for
34,000 Immigrants as Private Prisons Profit. Bloomberg. http://www.bloomberg.com/
news/2013-09-24/congress-fuels-private-jails-detaining-34-000-immigrants.html

26 | PAYOFF: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota | April 2015

117. Wessler, S. (2013, February 14). CEO of largest private prison company: No worries
about immigration reform. Colorlines. http://colorlines.com/archives/2013/02/
ceo_of_largest_private_prison_company_in_us_says_hes_not_worried_about_
immigration_reform.html
118. Figueroa, I. (2014, January 31). The Bed Quota: Mandatory Detention and the Denial
of Justice. UNC School of Law: Conference on Race, Class, Gender and Ethnicity.
http://blogs.law.unc.edu/crcge/2014/01/31/the-bed-quota-mandatory-detentionand-the-denial-of-justice/
119. ICE Total Removals. (n.d.). Immigration and Customs Enforcement. http://www.ice.
gov/doclib/about/offices/ero/pdf/ero-removals1.pdf

PAYOFF:
with an Immigrant Detention Quota
April 2015

For more information, please contact
Grassroots Leadership
info@grassrootsleadership.org or (512) 499-8111
Twitter: @Grassroots_News
www.grassrootsleadership.org

 

 

Prison Phone Justice Campaign
CLN Subscribe Now Ad
The Habeas Citebook: Prosecutorial Misconduct Side