The detention of migrants has become a multi-billion dollar industry in which immigrants are sold to the highest bidder and traded like mere products. The Corrections Corporation of America, The Geo Group, and the Management and Training Corporation run over 200 facilities all over the nation. These facilities offer over 150,000 bed spaces and rake in a total profit of close to five billion dollars per year. The fact that these detention centers get paid for the number of people that are in the center per night offers, therefore, no incentive to speed up the legal processes and let the detainees leave the facility.
These facilities rely on anti-immigrant laws, which have become the perfect money machine because they guarantee them a constant flow of fresh inmates and provide a continual profit. It doesn’t matter whether people are undocumented or not, as long as they fill the detention facilities for any period of time which could be days, months, or even years.
The stories are as heartbreaking as they are true. It seems like the detention facilities intentionally want to make it hard and uncomfortable for the families who must visit their loved ones in prison. Although there are certain organizations that offer free food, overnight housing, and other services to these families, the volunteers are often treated with contempt.
These prisons do not accommodate inmates who have health conditions such as diabetes; in fact medical assistance can be up to an hour away. One such detainee, who was arrested for not having a valid driver’s license, was denied urgent medical attention. He died a month later.
The treatment that inmates receive at the detention center is inhumane. The water comes out green out of the faucets and physical force along with chemicals agents are used on the detainees. Then there’s the fact that there’s only one toilet for every 33 detainees, which means that accidents that involve bodily functions are bound to happen regularly.
American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, was created in 1973 by a group of large corporations with the purpose of writing model legislation that favored their interests. This council pours millions of dollars into creating anti-immigration laws like Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070 for their own benefit. This is what keeps the detention centers in business.
The United States has now become the world’s leading incarcerator with as many as 2.3 million people locked up— a 120% increase within the last few years. Draw your own conclusions as you watch this documentary now.