Oversight Committee Investigates For-Profit Immigrant Detention Center Contractors
(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Jamie Raskin, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, sent letters to three for-profit contractors after reports detailing the grave conditions at immigrant detention centers and facilities for immigrant children.
“The Committee is investigating the Trump Administration’s rapidly increasing use of for-profit contractors to detain tens of thousands of immigrants, including a troubling series of reports of health and safety violations and the dramatically escalating and seemingly unchecked costs to U.S. taxpayers for these contracts,” Cummings and Raskin wrote.
The Chairmen sent letters to CoreCivic, GEO Group, Inc., and DC Capital Partners, LLC—a firm that owns Caliburn International, whose subsidiary, Comprehensive Health Services (CHS), runs the nation’s largest shelter for immigrant children. The Chairmen expressed concern that the value of the contracts increased significantly under the Trump Administration and resulted in massive profits. For example:
- Since the start of 2018, CHS has received three HHS contracts totaling over $545 million for operating Homestead Shelter, including a $50 million award in February 2018, a $222 million award in July 2018, and a $273 million award in April 2019. CHS has also recently received more than $71 million in HHS grants to operate other facilities housing immigrant children. Homestead is run by a subsidiary of Caliburn International, which recently announced that former White House Chief of Staff and Secretary of Homeland Security, General John Kelly, has joined its Board of Directors.
- GEO Group received $300 million new ICE contract awards in fiscal year 2017, an increase of over $100 million over the prior year. In fiscal year 2018, the value of ICE contracts awarded rose even higher, to nearly $342 million. The CEO of GEO Group recently boasted to his shareholders that “GEO’s first quarter in 2019 was financially and operationally the best in our history.”
- CoreCivic received approximately $135 million in new ICE contract awards in fiscal year 2017, an increase of $36 million over the prior year. In fiscal year 2018, the value of ICE contracts awarded rose even higher, to nearly $141 million. The CFO of CoreCivic told his shareholders that the company’s 2019 financial results have exceeded expectations—primarily due to an increase in CoreCivic’s detention facilities business.
Cummings and Raskin also sent letters to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Health and Human Services requesting the contracts with for-profit contractors that run immigrant detention centers and house immigrant children; documents showing whether the agencies are ensuring the contractors comply with the law; and documents related to the contractors’ potential conflicts of interest.
Click here to read the letter to CoreCivic.
Click here to read the letter to GEO Group.
Click here to read the letter to DC Capital Partners, LLC.
Click here to read the letter to ICE.
Click here to read the letter to HHS.