A few weeks back, the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill, and it’s now time for the House to pass its own version. Just in time for this, Grassroots Leadership has put out a list of the members of the House who are cashing in on immigration reform from the private detention lobby:
1. Hal Rogers (R-KY), who chairs the powerful Appropriations Committee, and his Help America’s Leaders PAC received a total of $34,500 from CCA, GEO, and MTC. The number is fitting — 34,000 is the number of immigrant detention beds Rogers’ committee mandates that Immigration and Customs Enforcement fill every single day. With more than half of all detention beds operated by private prison corporations, that means big business for CCA, GEO, and their peers.
2. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) comes in second on our list, bringing in $24,000 from private prison companies in 2012. The donations came directly to the Boehner’s campaign, through his John Boehner for Speaker Committee, and through The Freedom Project-Friends of John Boehner PAC, which is closely aligned with the speaker. In fact, CCA was one of TFP’s biggest donors, having given it $10,000. Boehner is not only a promoter of immigrant detention, but also one of the main hinderances to new immigration laws coming before the House
It’s pretty clear that, just as it happened in Arizona, companies that profit from the detention of immigrants and the imprisonment of people more generally are having a huge impact on the way that the immigration debate is being shaped in Congress. And as per usual, women, queers, and trans folks will disproportionately bear this burden.