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For-profit Prison Companies in Texas Made Big Money Jailing Immigrants so Far This Year

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Two private for-profit prison companies operating immigrant detention facilities in Texas reported strong financial gains to shareholders this month.

The GEO Group, which operates the immigrant detention facility in Karnes County, and Corrections Corp. of America, which runs a similar facility in Dilley, Texas, are rolling in cash.

Grassroots Leadership, an Austin-based organization that seeks to end the for-profit prison industry, reports that GEO Group told shareholders that the 626-bed expansion of the Karnes facility in December 2015 is one of a few reasons why its first quarter revenue for 2016 "increased to approximately $510 million from $427 million a year ago."

In a press release, Corrections Corp. of America boasted a 5-percent increase in first quarter revenue for 2016. The company reported earning $447.4 million, which its Chief Executive Officer Damon Hininger credited to "stronger than anticipated demand from our federal partners, most notably Immigration and Customs Enforcement."

Grassroots Leadership Immigration Programs Director Cristina Parker said the companies are profiting off the suffering of mothers and children seeking refuge in the U.S.

“It’s sickening to hear CCA and GEO brag about their profitable quarter to shareholders,” Parker said.

Immigration activists and politicians, including U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, and other Democrats, have called for a close of the detention centers.

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