The Trump administration has torn an estimated 2,500 children from their asylum-seeking parents – and the damage to America’s reputation across the globe cannot be undone. Some are now terrified that children might disappear into the system and never see their families again.
While the children and their parents are suffering the trauma of not knowing when, or whether, they will be reunited, the billion dollar private prison industry is expected to reap massive profits as a result of the administration’s proposal to spend billions more in federal taxpayer dollars to warehouse children and their families. It’s worth noting that in 2017, the private prison industry spent almost $3.5 million on lobbyists to influence lawmakers, and in 2016 gave almost $1.6 million in contributions to outside spending groups, parties and candidates, some of whom approve requests for federal funds to implement immigration detention policies. The two biggest companies in the industry, GEO Group and CoreCivic, each also donated $250,000 to President Trump’s inaugural fund.
Taxpayers, meanwhile, are left in the dark in terms of conditions inside the detention centers, and whether their money is being spent efficiently or effectively.
Read the full op-ed by Lisa Rosenberg, Executive Director of Open the Government, published in The Hill, here.