Have you ever wondered why Congress will not take action on immigration reform? Why passage of the Dream Act butts up against so much Congressional opposition? Well, just follow the money. Once you do, the reasons are bold and clear. The folks who benefit from illegal immigration are for-profit prison corporations. The three largest are Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), GEO Group (GEO), and Management and Training Corporation (MTC) in that order.
For-profit prisons depend on high incarceration rates in order to be profitable. In CCA’s 2011 report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, they express concern over any moves toward leniency in illegal drug and immigration enforcement. They fret over possible changes that would make sentencing more lenient and that would decriminalize more criminal offenses. Anything that reduces imprisonment significantly affects profits and obviously is a threat to their bottom-line.
Rehabilitating prisoners through education, skill training, or taking other steps that would keep their charges out of jail is not in their best interest. Recidivism, high law enforcement, and imprisonment are what protect profits.
You see, “… human beings matter little in the corporate state. We myopically serve the rapacious appetites of those dedicated to exploitation and maximizing profit. And our corporate masters view prisons-as they do education, health care and war-as a business,” as expressed by Chris Hedges in his article “Profiting From Human Misery.”
Today, the Federal Bureau of Prisons has 13 for-profit contracts costing the bureau and taxpayers $5.1 billion.
With so much at stake, they find it imperative to protect that bottom-line. Lobbying Congress to protect high incarceration, the three major for-profit corporations spent $45 million.
In doing so, lobbyists have successfully blocked immigration reform. Their actions are part of the reason why the U.S. prison system incarcerates a quarter of the world’s prison population. Many are undocumented immigrants and most have not committed a violent crime.
“We have abandoned the common good,” as Hedges puts it. Corporate capitalism has degraded and shown contempt for our system of justice, and has created an unjust and inhumane society. We throw families of undocumented immigrants into unfathomable predicaments. “Children come home from school and find they have lost their mothers or fathers.” We force mothers to surrender custody of their children. We deny the undocumented immigrant adequate healthcare, education, and a decent job instead of providing an uninhibited and comprehensive way to acquire citizenship rather than incarceration.
In blind allegiance to the corporate state, we have abandoned any sense of right and wrong for the sake of profit, and have allowed it to supersede human rights.