According to The Washington Post, private prison stocks have soared after the election of Donald Trump on Tuesday. Why are private prisons becoming more lucrative post Trump? Trump’s rhetoric on the campaign trail, as a “law and order candidate” promising to deport undocumented immigrants en masse, has spurred renewed interest in private prisons as potential holders for folks that are being deported.
Private prison stocks had been on the decline as the Department of Justice sought to decrease their use of private prisons after multiple high profile investigations revealed corruption and mistreatment of inmates in the industry. However, after Trump’s explosive rhetoric was validated by his election, the stocks of Core Civic and the Geo Group rose 43% and 21%, respectively. These are two major private prison companies which are already utilized by the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE).
The Washington Post reports that over 60% of prisoners held by ICE are already housed in private prisons, and this bounce in private prison stocks suggests that investors expect to see an increase in prisoners and an expansion of prisons under a Trump administration. Trump would have to vastly expand the ICE and the private prison industry to round up and deport individuals the way he proposed: these prisons would need to be able to hold 10 times as many people and ICE would need thousands of new officers for his deportation force.
Many are skeptical of Trump’s ability to enact his plans, as they are majorly expensive and are incredible violations of human rights and dignity. Even so, as Trump proposes to expand the police state, it seems that people are already looking to profit from the deportation and imprisonment of undocumented people.