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On September 28, as part of its series on immigration detention, the New York Times addressed the scandal of seemingly uncontrollable immigrant abuse by the multinational prison industry in an article entitled "Companies Use Immigration Crackdown to Turn a Profit."

... a handful of multinational security companies have been turning crackdowns on immigration into a growing global industry.

Especially in Britain, the United States and Australia, governments of different stripes have increasingly looked to such companies to expand detention and show voters they are enforcing tougher immigration laws.

Some of the companies are huge — one is among the largest private employers in the world — and they say they are meeting demand faster and less expensively than the public sector could.

But the ballooning of privatized detention has been accompanied by scathing inspection reports, lawsuits and the documentation of widespread abuse and neglect, sometimes lethal.

As Bob Sloan (contributor to ALEC Exposed, which just won the Sidney Award for Excellence in Socially Conscious Journalism) noted three weeks ago, 50% of all imprisonment in the U.S federal system this year was immigrant detention!

More below the squiggle...

The abuse of immigrants by the multinational companies G4S, Serco, and GEO Group includes excessive (and profitable) waits for deportation, with one prisoner locked up in a GEO Group detention center near Heathrow in the UK for three years and seven months at a cost of at least $237,000. In 2007, Western Australia’s Human Rights Commission found that G4S drivers had ignored the cries of detainees locked in a scorching van, leaving them so dehydrated that one drank his own urine.

Lack of competition means that even when a company is found to have been guilty of egregious violations of human rights, it cannot be excluded for long from acquiring new contracts:

“We have lost control,” said Richard Harding, who served for a decade as Western Australia’s chief prison inspector.
“These big global companies, in relation to specific activities, are more powerful than the governments they’re dealing with.”

Multinational prison companies have no loyalty to any country. They use political connections and manipulation of public opinion to create a market for their "services."  They are getting larger and more powerful every day, while the number of "serfs, tied to their "land" by merciless corporations continues to grow.  Meanwhile, the rest of us must compete with slave labor.  It is time to fight back against the multinational companies  and the threat they pose both to helpless immigrants and to us all.

Update: Please take a look at Bob Sloan's diary of today: "ALEC scandal goes international - UK Knighthood, Thatcher and 3M involved," with its story full of mystery, corruption, corporate manipulation, and connections that only an expert can make.

Originally posted to ej25 on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 08:09 AM PDT.

Also republished by Exposing ALEC and Community Spotlight.

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