Private prison profit forecasts and other immigration news – August 11, 2017

prison bars

Photo by Michael Coghlan, used under Creative Commons license

Private prison companies are saying that Trump’s immigration crackdown is looking good for business (Business Insider, 8/9/17)

“The US’s two largest for-profit prison companies, CoreCivic and GEO Group, said in separate earnings calls this week that the companies expect to see significant business from the federal government in the near future due to the Trump administration’s immigration policies.”

While expressing regret that arrests at the border are down, both companies emphasized that there are more arrests and longer prison stays for immigrants in the rest of the country.

“Longer detention lengths are more lucrative for the companies, as the Department of Homeland Security pays approximately $126 per day for each detainee. As of 2016, 65% of ICE detainees were housed in private, for-profit facilities.”

While Some Communities Become Sanctuaries, Others Are Happy to Help With Trump’s Immigration Crackdown (FiveThirtyEight, 8/10/17) Declaring sanctuary might cost a city federal funds, but signing up to enforce federal immigration laws could turn a profit.

“Sixty communities now have active 287(g) agreements, which is nearly twice as many as a year ago, according to ICE…

“Sheriff Clint McRae of Walker County, Texas, told The Huntsville Item in April that he wouldn’t participate in the 287(g) program if he couldn’t reach one of these additional agreements with ICE.

“What that does is it helps us generate additional revenue,” McRae told the paper. “It’s more of a business-type of agreement.”

And in other immigration news

Where Americans stand on immigration (CBS, 8/9/17) They think immigration levels should stay as they are, they oppose the border wall, they don’t want an English language requirement.

“Forty-six percent of Americans prefer the U.S. give priority to immigrants based on education, job skills and work experience, while 44 percent think those with family members here should be given priority.

“When the CBS News poll last asked this question in 2013, nearly six in 10 thought priority should be given based on education and work skills.”

Fact Checker: President Trump’s claim that low-skilled immigration placed ‘substantial pressure’ on U.S. workers (Washington Post, 8/10/17) Overall – the claim is not substantiated by the evidence. Immigrants are a net positive for the economy. A zero-to-slight negative effect on wages may happen to “certain subgroups of native workers: high school dropouts, teenagers, low-skilled African American workers, and low-skilled Hispanics (immigrants and native-born), especially those with poor English skills.” Moreover, it is inaccurate to call immigrants low-skilled:

“Low-skilled immigration increased sharply after 1970, but leveled off by the mid-2000s. New immigrants to the United States are more highly educated than native-born Americans, and the overall population of low-skilled immigrants has remained stable, according to researchers from Brookings Institution and the Libertarian think tank Cato Institute.”

Minnesotan who witnessed Khmer Rouge terror hopes for justice (MPR, 8/9/17)  Now a mechanical engineer living in St. Paul, Sova Niev is telling a Cambodian court the story of her family’s suffering in Cambodia in 1979, when her parents and a brother were killed and she ran across minefields to escape into Thailand.

“She lived in public housing with other refugees when she first came to Minnesota and recalls waking up once to her home being vandalized. She worked hard to learn English to gain more opportunities, and eventually went to the University of Minnesota Duluth, where she graduated with an engineering degree in 2011.”

Does this look like a crime to you? (City Pages, 8/9/17) In January, Mike Madden went to the airport to protest the Muslim ban.

“It was 3 o’clock by the time his wife, Gail, dropped him at the airport. Finding no demonstrators in sight, Madden staged a one-man protest, walking up and down the baggage claim carrying a chest-sized sign. “MUSLIMS WELCOME,” it read.

“Some arriving passengers nodded. The rest looked through him. As he passed by a group of East African airport workers, two made eye contact, mouthing the words “Thank you.”…

“In the annals of crime, no caper sounds less exciting than The Man Who Wanted a Ride Home from His Wife. It’s a little more interesting than it first appears.”

U.S. Hispanic population growth has leveled off (Pew Research Center, 8/3/17) While Hispanics “account for more of the nation’s overall population growth than any other race or ethnicity,” the growth rate has leveled off at two percent. Asian population growth stands at three percent, with overall annual U.S. population rate holding steady at 0.7% for the past six years.

Unpredictable and Brutal ICE Raids Are Allowing Trump to Rule by Fear (In These Times, 8/8/17)

“The President’s latest cabinet shuffle may seem chaotic, but even if executive agencies are paralyzed, immigration authorities’ ruthless assaults on communities continues apace. General John Kelly’s tenure at Homeland Security lasted long enough to crank up U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) deportation machine, scrap the few safeguards for due process granted under the previous administration and pave the way for even harsher crackdowns under his successor.”

Commentary: Trump’s immigration vision isn’t the Reagan way (Chicago Tribune, 8/9/17)

” In that address in 1980, Reagan embraced the poem, declaring, “It is fitting that . . . we meet beside the waters of New York harbor, with the eyes of Miss Liberty on our gathering and . . . the words of the poet whose lines are inscribed at her feet. . . . Through this ‘Golden Door,’ under the gaze of that ‘Mother of Exiles,’ have come millions of men and women, who first stepped foot on American soil right there, on Ellis Island, so close to the Statue of Liberty. . . . They helped to build that magnificent city across the river. They spread across the land building other cities and towns and incredibly productive farms. . . . They brought with them courage, ambition and the values of family, neighborhood, work, peace and freedom.”

California Crops Rot as Immigration Crackdown Creates Farmworker Shortage (Fortune, 8/8/17)

“Farmers say they’re having trouble hiring enough people to work during harvest season, causing some crops to rot before they can be picked. Already, the situation has triggered losses of more than $13 million in two California counties alone, according to NBC News.

“The ongoing battle about U.S. immigration policies is blamed for the shortage.”

Border wall hits close to home (Washington Post, 8/9/17) Five fascinating stories.

” The Washington Post sat down with five Hispanic members of the House who have at least one parent who immigrated to the United States. The lawmakers spoke candidly about their experiences as first-generation Americans, their encounters with immigration officials and their parents’ paths toward assimilation.”

Reuniting families has driven U.S. immigration. What would ending that mean for Californians?  (Sacramento Bee, 8/10/17)

“A Forbes analysis notes that Canada lets in 10 times more family member immigrants proportional to its population than the U.S. would under Trump’s favored plan.

“Vindi said he’s worried about his 75-year-old parents back in India, who he believes will be better off living with their sons in the U.S. in old age. Following his own advice to clients, he applied earlier this year to become an American citizen, afraid that otherwise the RAISE Act might preclude him from moving his parents to the U.S. even on a temporary basis. He has his interview next month.

“If we’re not able to bring our parents here, it would be devastating,” he said. “I think that’s the draconian part of what Trump’s proposing.”

Yuba City father detained for deportation during regular ICE check-in (Sacramento Bee, 8/9/17)  and Undocumented immigrant back home from ICE detention, but faces deportation in 3 months (Sacramento Bee, 8/9/17)

“Singh has been doing ICE check-ins for years, but said immigration authorities told him that “it’s now a new administration so now everything is changed,” he said Wednesday at his Yuba City home.

“Singh said he has no criminal record. His wife, Kate Singh, is a U.S. citizen. The couple married in 2011 and have two young sons, ages 5 and 3.”

Building Success: This Is How Immigration, Entrepreneurship And Education Connect (Forbes, 8/19/17)

“According to Entrepreneur Magazine, more than 40% of businesses on the U.S. Fortune 500 List are launched by immigrants or by children of immigrants.”

Trump’s Immigration Agenda Makes a Fundamental Miscalculation (The Atlantic, 8/10/17)

“The Social Security trustees estimate the number of seniors will grow from 48 million now to 86 million in 2050. Under the current immigration laws, the Pew Research Center projects the working-age population will increase through 2065 by nearly as much, about 30 million. Pew estimates that immigrants, who tend to be younger, and their descendants will provide the vast majority of that increase. But if legal immigration is halved, Pew projects virtually no growth in the workforce.

“That means roughly the same number of workers would need to support nearly 80 percent more seniors. That’s a recipe either for unsustainable tax increases or big benefit cuts in the Social Security and Medicare programs indispensable to Trump’s base.”


About Mary Turck

News Day, written by Mary Turck, analyzes, summarizes, links to, and comments on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to immigration, education, and journalism. Fragments, also written by Mary Turck, has fiction, poetry and some creative non-fiction. Mary Turck edited TC Daily Planet,, from 2007-2014, and edited the award-winning Connection to the Americas and AMERICAS.ORG, in its pre-2008 version. She is also a recovering attorney and the author of many books for young people (and a few for adults), mostly focusing on historical and social issues.
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