immigration

Humpday Hall of Shame: GEO Rewarded for being a "Fit Company" while detainees starve in hunger strikes

Congratulations, GEO! You've been given another honorable mention in our Humpday Hall of Shame! 

According to the Digital Journal, Healthyroads Incorporated awarded the Fit Company Award to the GEO Group because of their "GEO-fit-for-life" program, run through... you guessed it... Healthyroads Incorporated

Stephen V. Fuller, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at GEO, spoke favorably of the fitness program: "Thanks to our wellness program, employees are getting more exercise and eating better...More importantly, though, they're enjoying themselves and building camaraderie in the process, which is what will lead to better relationships and lifelong healthy lifestyle changes."

Ironically enough, GEO has a horrific track record of abuse, neglect and retaliation of people locked up in their for-profit private prisons and detention centers.

Read more about Humpday Hall of Shame: GEO Rewarded for being a "Fit Company" while detainees starve in hunger strikes

Part 2 of KSAT-San Antonio exposé follows the private prison money trail

On Friday, KSAT – San Antonio ran Corportations profit from immigration system, part two of reporter Steve Spriester’s Defender’s Investigation into the shady practices of private prison corporations. Spriester’s exposé – which featured Grassroots Leadership Executive Director Bob Libal – revealed the way in which private prison corporations strategically pour money into campaign contribution and lobbying efforts that will produce benefits for their bottom line by ensuring a large and steady flow of detainees.

As Spreister put it, “A stalemate on immigration reform in this country is very good for their business.”

Added Libal, "They're banking on there being a steady and increasing number of immigrants behind bars."

 

Read more about Part 2 of KSAT-San Antonio exposé follows the private prison money trail

Victory - McAllen, TX City Commission Rejects Proposal to Build a New Private Prison!

 

Grassroots Leadership and our allies are celebrating today as the McAllen, TX City Commission has rejected for-profit prison company GEO Group’s proposal to build a new private prison for immigrants!  

In July, we caught wind that the city planned to seek a private contractor to build and operate a new 1,000-bed facility under their existing contract with the U.S. Marshals Service.  In doing so, the city would have not only contributed to the expansion of an industry that reaps billions from incarcerating human beings, but also the rising trend of profiteering from the criminalization of migrants under Operation Streamline.  

Read more about Victory - McAllen, TX City Commission Rejects Proposal to Build a New Private Prison!

It's Elementary: The Cost of Immigration Detention Doesn't Add Up

This week, National Immigration Forum posted their report, The Math of Immigration Detention: Runaway Costs for Immigration Detention Do Not Add Up to Sensible Policies, examining the cost to taxpayers of detaining immigrants, the majority of whom have no criminal record.  Additionally, the report highlights how the private for-profit prison industry stands to gain the most from the growing number of immigrants in detention facilities.   

The report paints a clear picture of the exorbitant amount of money the federal government continues to spend on detaining hundreds of thousands of immigrants each year, while funding allocated for alternatives to detention, which would keep immigrants in their communities with their families, remains dwarfed in comparison to detention.  

Read more about It's Elementary: The Cost of Immigration Detention Doesn't Add Up

New Training Videos for Detention Visitation Volunteers

CIVIC (Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement) and the Jesuit Refugee Service have teamed up to produce a series of videos to train volunteers for immigrant detention visitation programs.  Our own Rocio Villalobos, who coordinates the Austin-based Hutto Visitation Program along with Grassroots Leadership, is featured in their video on recruitment.  The full press release from CIVIC is below, but first some words of wisdom from Rocio:  

Volunteer Recruitment and Screening for Detention Visitation Programs from Jesuit Refugee Service | USA on Vimeo.

 

Read more about New Training Videos for Detention Visitation Volunteers

ICE Official that Pushed Deportation Quota Now Works for Private Prison Corporation GEO Group

Today's USA Today carried a disturbing article highlighting Immigration and Customs Enforcement's effort to increase the number of deportations through aggressive enforcement mechanisms.

Internal emails at the agency showed that ICE agents "were trolling state driver's license records for information about foreign-born applicants, dispatching U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to traffic safety checkpoints conducted by police departments, and processing more illegal immigrants who had been booked into jails for low-level offenses."  

The former official whose emails are heavily quoted in the article is David Venturella, former assistant director at ICE.  Guess where Mr. Venturella ended up after his term at ICE?  Mr. Venturella is now the Executive Vice President for Corporate Development at GEO Group, according to his LinkedIn profile.  GEO Group is a private prison corporation that heavily depends on federal immigration contracts to ensure a steady profit stream and employs a stream of heavily connected lobbyists in DC.  

Read more about ICE Official that Pushed Deportation Quota Now Works for Private Prison Corporation GEO Group

Close Down Polk: Expose & Close Vigil on December 8th

Activists marching outside the Polk detention center
As part of the national Expose & Close campaign, Grassroots Leadership, Texans United for Families, and Houston Unidos led a vigil this Saturday outside of the IAH (Polk) County Secure Adult Detention Center. Over a hundred community members from a diverse coalition of human rights group gathered to call for the closure of the detention center, highlight the continued human rights abuses, and denounce profiteering from the detention of immigrants in the US.  Activists from Austin had previously toured the facility and found atrocious conditions – detained men eat, sleep, and use the bathroom all in one room, spend up to twenty three hours in their crowded cells, and have little access to family or legal aid on the outside.  Sam Vong, one of the authors of a report on the facility, "witnessed horrible conditions" and says that "ICE must shut down this facility as a first step towards reducing its detained population."

Read more about Close Down Polk: Expose & Close Vigil on December 8th

Dennis DeConcini - Resign from CCA Now

Welcome to The Hump Day Hall of Shame:  Every Wednesday we highlight the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.

Today's Humpday Hall of Shame inductee is former Democratic Arizona Senator Dennis DeConcini.  DeConcini, who served in the Senate from 1977 until 1995, sits on the board of Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).

DeConcini's membership on the CCA board makes him complicit in the anti-immigrant actions of CCA.   See what the Fuerza Coalition has to say after the jump.

Read more about Dennis DeConcini - Resign from CCA Now

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - immigration