U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement paid more than $800 million in taxpayer money to 19 private detention centers to hold migrants and asylum seekers this year, a new report has found.
An investigation by The Daily Beast found the 19 private prisons were being paid to house around 18,000 migrants, or about 41 percent of the 44,000 total migrants being held by ICE.
While ICE would not reveal the names of the detention centers they did business with, large private prison groups like CoreCivic and GEO Group have been known to work with the organization. Together, the two prison companies brought in revenue of more than $4 billion in fiscal year 2017. The companies also spend millions each year on campaign contributions and lobbying towards legislation that profits their business.