US President-elect Donald Trump has made it very clear that his administration will detain and deport illegal immigrants in the country. He has further strengthened this view by appointing Senator Jeff Sessions to the highest law enforcement position in the country. The senator is well-known for his tough stand on crime.
Should Trump follow through on his promise to deport millions of illegal immigrants in the US, private security contractors that operate several prisons across the country would benefit. In fact, there are also British security contractors, such as G4S, that are operating prisons in America.
The Obama administration had announced in August 2016 that it would begin reducing the use of private prisons since the prison population in federal prisons in the last ten years has been consistently reducing. The US Justice Department announced this after an audit revealed that privately operated prisons had more safety and security issues compared to facilities managed by the federal government.
It is believed that this change in policy by the present administration will not extend to the private prisons that are used to house illegal immigrants. However, some officials have stated that the government is looking to reduce the immigration facilities operated by private contractors.
During the presidential election campaign, Trump had supported the use of private prisons, claiming that the existing prison system in the country is chaotic and messy.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has about 180 facilities to house illegal immigrants awaiting deportation. Out of these, 46 are run by private security contractors and house approximately 73 per cent of the illegal immigrant population.
Canaccord Genuity Inc. Senior Associate Michael Kodesch stated that private prisons for housing illegal immigrants are highly profitable business enterprises for security contractors as they charge a premium for each bed.