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Wasteland: A First Look

Molly Crabapple: Locking up immigrants for profit

The United States puts immigrants behind bars every day. Though the vast majority of these immigrants are not criminals, they are kept in conditions as brutal as those for any other prisoner. Congress requires Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also called ICE, to keep 34,000 immigrants behind bars each day in order to keep its funding. But, out of the 350 facilities it uses to incarcerate these immigrants, only 8 are owned and operated by ICE itself. For the rest, ICE pays between $122-$200 per person, per night, to for-profit corporations and local jails.

 Politicians love to bray that ‘illegal aliens’ are bleeding America. But the real leeches are the private prison companies who rake in billions in taxpayer money to ruin immigrants’ lives – including those with the legal papers to live and work in the US.


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