According to Mic., the GEO Group has won the first federal contract for a new immigrant detention center in Texas. The contract is worth $110 million and will house 1000 beds for undocumented immigrants or those accused of committing a crime.
This is the first contract awarded by the Trump administration to address what it believes is a major problem in the United States, although statistics show that undocumented immigration has decreased in recent years.
Trump is vastly expanding ICE, hiring 5000 new agents and, according to the ACLU, hoping to deputize local law enforcement officials to arrest immigrants suspected of being undocumented or committing a crime. Trump also plans to publish a list of crimes committed by immigrants as a part of his new “Victims of Immigrant Crime Engagement Office.”
These actions are disturbing.
Besides the opportunity for private prison companies to profit from immigrant detentions, the Trump administration seems to be attacking a problem where, statistically, very few exist. Reports show that immigrants actually commit less crime than US citizens. In addition, publishing “immigrant crimes” is a tactic straight from the Nazis, who published alleged crimes committed by Jewish people in order to demonize them in the public eye.
Of course, it is no surprise that the prison industrial complex will be utilized in Trump’s campaign to smear immigrants. This is, in fact, just a continuation of Obama era deportation policies and an expansion of a system that has long been in place.
Yet, the rhetoric of the Trump administration is certainly a departure from previous administrations, with Attorney General (and liar) Jeff Sessions giving a chilling speech about border security in Arizona, remarking:
“It is here, on this sliver of land, where we first take our stand against this filth.”
Immigrants and undocumented folks, are people. Not filth. No one deserves to profit from this racist and dangerous campaign against them. Today, the Oversight Committee is hearing testimony concerning border security and undocumented immigration. It is painful to hear this propaganda, but important to remain aware of the Trump administration’s attacks on this community.