02/28/2013 12:42:13 PM EST
Immigration Reform and Private Prison Cash
"As immigration reform picks up steam in Congress, conventional wisdom holds that a handful of key players are shaping the legislation. Labor unions. Big business. Advocacy groups for and against a path to citizenship for the undocumented. But little scrutiny has been directed at a multi-billion dollar industry with a lot riding on the future of immigration policy: the private companies that operate federal prisons and detention facilities. ... [A]s the immigration reform debate moves forward, reporters would be wise to keep a close eye on how the legislation will affect detention and incarceration levels—and on whether the private prison industry is in fact staying fully on the sidelines, as it insists it does. The key senators who have benefited most from the industry’s donations—Alexander, Corker, McCain, and Rubio—will merit particular attention as they help to shape the bipartisan bill that is considered the most likely blueprint for reform." - Sasha Chavkin, Feb. 20, 2013.