"The U.S. is locking up more [unauthorized] 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." - Associated Press, Aug. 2, 2012.