Detainees inside a holding cell at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash. The facility is operated by The GEO Group Inc. under contract from U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, and houses people whose immigration status is in question or who are waiting for deportation or deportation hearings. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Earlier this year, one of the largest private prison corporations in the country sent out a statement to reporters claiming that it would not lobby in any way over the immigration reform debate. A new disclosure shows that the company, the Boca Raton–based Geo Group, has in fact paid an “elite team of federal lobbyists” to influence the comprehensive immigration reform legislation making its way through Congress.
Commentary by The Secular Jurist: As we have stated many times before, the GOP is split on immigration reform between its pro-business establishment and its radically xenophobic Tea Party base. The only consideration for the former is how much money can be garnered for its corporate benefactors, and the only consideration for the latter is its racial animus.