Why do we put up with nearly 750,000 pending immigration cases, where many detainees are forced into private jails for months, awaiting a ponderous bureaucracy to decide their fate?
Let’s follow the money…
An entire industry has grown up around detainees, from employment for lawyers and judges, to nonprofits raising money for jazzy executive salaries. And the longer the review process, the more money sloshes about, enriching groups and individuals at the expense of foreigners, who should be instead rapidly excluded from – or included in – our American society.
Nowhere is this abuse more blatant than the for-profit detention centers run by the same folks who own many of our criminal prisons and use inmates and government largess to grab the big dollars.
The private prison system began in 1984, and has grown into a $5 billion operation with oodles of profit guaranteed by the taxpayer.
For example, the new Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility in Conroe, Texas, is designed to house up to 1,000 detainees at a cost of $44 million a year to U.S. taxpayers.
That’s $44,000 per inmate. Think about that much money thrown at a private company for a year’s minimal food and board.
The median family of four in America lives on about $50,000, but the government reduces that quickly:
- FICA and Medicare taxes of $7.65%, or $3,825.
- Income tax on $50,000 – $24,000 standard deduction, which equals $26,000 * 12%, or $3,120.
These taxes push U.S. family income down to some $43,000, virtually the same amount as our government can pay to keep one detainee at a private facility. By contrast a family of four detainees would cost us $176,000 in public payments to a private firm.
Could your family survive on $176,000 after taxes, even with real estate taxes and a mortgage on a lavish house, two new BMWs, a month-long European vacation every year and a summer home? You bet you could – and still save for those $50k college tuition expenses looming, as your pampered offspring sprout.
It’s enough to make you wonder why it costs so much to detain people who aren’t citizens.
Is the answer very highly paid staff – janitors and cooks earning $30 an hour? Or, gardeners assigned to each and every plant surrounding the parking lot? Housekeepers with degrees from Trump University?
The answer is none of the above.
In 1974 Congress approved a pay rate for detainees of $1 an hour, which was half the $2 federal rate for all workers.
Some 44 years later it is still $1. (During the same period, U.S. Senators voted to quadruple their salaries to $174k, plus expenses and access to lobbyists.)
Private facilities use detainees to cook, clean, whatever, at the rate of $8 a day. I am sure some folks in these institutions are grateful even for this peon pay (many came from Mexico, where some 25 million workers earn the minimum wage just raised to $4.70 a day).
Kevin Landy, former director of the Office of Policy and Planning at ICE for six years, tried to reform federal oversight of immigrant jails during the B. Obama administration.
“I believe contractors save a lot of money by using detainee labor, because they’re performing work that would otherwise have to be performed by (fully) paid employees,” Landy said.
ICE is shutting down Landy’s old office and moving the functions elsewhere in the agency. “It is incredibly scary to contemplate the notion that ICE would be removing even the dysfunctional oversight that currently exists,” explained Carl Takei, senior staff attorney with the ACLU National Prison Project.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has called for five new facilities to be built and operated by private prison corporations across the country.
The two largest private corrections corporations, GEO Group and CoreCivic, each gave $250,000 to D. Trump’s inaugural festivities. Bet that many millions more have dropped into political troughs to insure a scheme long-supported by both parties to hold down American wages and exploit weak and confused foreign detainees.
A chilling reminder from pundit Jon Rappoport of this globalist quote from a founder of the Trilateral Commission:
“[The] nation state as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force. International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation state.” (Zbigniew Brzezinski, 1969)