While President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy has been a nightmare for families crossing the border, it has been a boon for the private prison industry, whose stocks are soaring under the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown.
Despite a small dip in the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 0.14 percent on Wednesday, the GEO Group and CoreCivic both saw their stocks increase 1.79 percent and 3.18 percent, respectively. Both corporations work alongside Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to operate detention centers holding immigrants.
News of a Republican compromise immigration bill sent stock prices higher in anticipation of the construction of new family detention centers, approved as part of a $7 billion allotment, McClatchy reported Tuesday:
"We have added family residential centers as an approved use of the $7 billion of border technology funding included in the bill," said a House Republican source familiar with the compromise bill drafting. "This will ensure DHS has access to funds to house more families."
The bill is the result of GOP leadership attempting a workaround to maintain Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy but avoid splitting up families at the border – and more family detention is good for private prison companies.
“The proposed solution being floated to them is more family detention,” immigration attorney R. Andrew Free, who first noticed the rising stocks on Twitter, told Observer. “On their stock calls, their corporate representatives mentioned these contracts are very good and very profitable and provide a new source of revenue.”
Both the GEO Group and CoreCivic supported Trump’s presidency. The companies donated $250,000 to Trump’s Inaugural Committee, with GEO having donated $225,000 to a Trump Super PAC during the 2016 election.