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President Trump's plan to round up the undocumented will be wonderful for private prisons

A new policy focusing on detainment and deportation could lead to the removal of 8 million people


Taylor Link
February 22, 2017 9:30PM (UTC)

In his first month of office, President Trump signed three executive orders that facilitated deportation efforts. One of those orders called on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to expand its detainment facilities, signaling that a mass immigration crackdown is coming.

The private prison industry is prime to profit off these roundups. More than 8 million undocumented immigrants "could be considered priorities," according to a review by the Los Angeles Times, which based its calculations on interviews with experts who studied Trump's executive orders and internal documents. While Trump said his strict immigration policies would only target criminals, immigrants could potentially be detained under the orders if their children receive free school lunches.

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Under the Obama administration, 1.4 million people were considered priorities for removal. Last year, more than 350,000 undocumented immigrants were detained by the ICE. The number held each day was around 40,000.

In a 20-page document reviewed by the Times from Trump's immigration policy experts revealed that one idea to accommodate the mass number of incarcerated is to double the number of people held in immigration detention to 80,000 per day.

Private prison companies such as CoreCivic have recognized the earning potential of this new policy. In a recent call with investors, CoreCivic CEO Damon Hininger specifically noted Trump's new orders.

"When couples with the above average rate of crossings along the southwest border, these executive orders appear likely to significantly increase the need for safe, humane, and appropriate detention bed capacity that we have available," he said.

Trump also ordered Homeland Security to detain any undocumented immigrant who has a case pending.

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Taylor Link

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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Detention Center Donald Trump Executive Order Homeland Security Immigration Ban Mexico

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