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Thu Aug 2, 2012, 12:11 PM

Immigrants prove big business for prison companies

Immigrants prove big business for prison companies
GARANCE BURKE, Associated Press, LAURA WIDES-MUNOZ, Associated Press
Updated 05:49 a.m., Thursday, August 2, 2012

MIAMI (AP) The U.S. is locking up more illegal immigrants than ever, generating lucrative profits for the nation's largest prison companies, and an Associated Press review shows the businesses have spent tens of millions of dollars lobbying lawmakers and contributing to campaigns.

The cost to American taxpayers is on track to top $2 billion for this year, and the companies are expecting their biggest cut of that yet in the next few years thanks to government plans for new facilities to house the 400,000 immigrants detained annually.

After a decade of expansion, the sprawling, private system runs detention centers everywhere from a Denver suburb to an industrial area flanking Newark's airport, and is largely controlled by just three companies.

The growth is far from over, despite the sheer drop in illegal immigration in recent years.

In 2011, nearly half the beds in the nation's civil detention system were in private facilities with little federal oversight, up from just 10 percent a decade ago.

More:
http://www.chron.com/news/article/Immigrants-prove-big-business-for-prison-companies-3756088.php

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