“The for-profit private prison industry has been driving the rapid expansion of the immigrant detention system and their executives haven’t been shy about their reliance on harsh immigration enforcement to prop up their business model.”
– Grassroots Leadership
Legislatively imposed bed mandates in immigration detention facilities increase the rates of immigration detention throughout the United States. While those in favor of the mandate rely on narratives about illegal immigration and counterterrorism to legitimize their actions, the simultaneous implementation of bed mandates and the expansion of the private prison industry is hard to ignore. This piece aims to reveal the direct and indirect ways in which the private prison industry shaped the immigration regulatory landscape to best fit its goal of profit maximization, legitimizing racial and xenophobic hierarchies at the cost of immigrants’ lives suffering in detention.