What Does Millions in Lobbying Money Buy? Five Congresspeople in the Pocket of the Private Prison Industry / The Nation

Lee Fang and Francis Reynolds

February 27, 2013

The for-profit industry of immigrant detention centers has ballooned in the past decade as Lee Fang tracks in a new exposé. A lot of that growth has to do with the industry’s savvy eye for making a buck: Even in the back and forth over immigration reform since last November’s election, the biggest players have recognized the great potential a change to the existing law could mean for them.

Luckily for them, they have the ear of some of the most influential members of congress. An analysis from the Associated Press last year found that the three major private prison corporations spent roughly $45 million over the past decade to influence state and federal government. The two largest corporations, Corrections Corporation of America and the Geo Group, operate extensive lobbying networks—CCA through its very own PAC and the lobbying firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Geo group through donations to candidates’ PACs.

What does that kind of money buy? Below are five major recipients of for-profit detention corporations’ largesse, and their stances in the immigration reform debate.


What did that money buy? In his rebuttal to Obama’s State of the Union Address this year, Rubio insisted that “we need a responsible, permanent solution to the problem of those who are here illegally. But first, we must follow through on the broken promises of the past to secure our borders and enforce our laws.”

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