Donald Trump Already Has His Camps. And They’re For-Profit.
So, you remember the day after the election (coincidentally my birthday…it was weird y’all) when Correction Corps (I think they rebranded as Core Civic, but tomato/ tomah-to, Satan/Sa-tahn) stock exploded? Everyone pointed to Donald Trump’s statements about supporting for-profit Federal prisons as the reason for the surge, but not many people looked at the real golden goose for Corrections Corp. under Trump and the most likely reason for the spike: Immigrant Detention Centers. We have a lot of them. They’re for-profit.
Flashback within a flashback (flashception):
When the DOJ decided to phase out private Federal prisons in August, it seemed like it might be the beginning of the end for private prisons on the Federal level, but if you remember correctly, there was a footnote about ICE continuing to use private/for-profit prisons, as they don’t answer up to the DOJ. ICE is under the jurisdiction of Homeland Security (Guantanamo, guys?) and has active contracts with Corrections Corporation. They love Corrections Corp. They even awarded CoCo (get it? ICE and CoCo?) an additional $1B no-bid contract to detain Central American Asylum-seekers this year.
Now, in August, Donald Trump said that he had never heard of, nor would he use immigrant/refugee detention centers. It sounds bizarre for a Presidential candidate who’s focused primarily on immigration to not know about these things, but whatever…because…on his website, he states that his policy will be to detain undocumented immigrants until such a time as they can be deported, which, in Homeland Security terms, means indefinitely. Trump’s website also states that he will triple the number of ICE agents and begin immediate deportation (read: detention until he figures out a protocol and builds that wall) of 1–2 million undocumented immigrants on day 1 of his administration. That’s a lot of people to put in camps…er…facilities. As a result of the proposed Trump policy, ICE is seeking to reopen a number of the Corrections Corp. facilities closed by the DOJ…and Corrections Corp stock is poppin, y’all.
And about that wall.
It’s no secret that most of Trump’s anti-immigrant vitriol has been sprayed at Mexico, and there is little indication that that rhetoric will not transform into action once he’s in office. Remember Trump’s statements about Mexico paying for his wall? Well, that may be more likely than we think. He has already made it clear that he plans to block remittance from Mexican Americans to family members in Mexico, a Presidential power made possible by the PATRIOT Act, but due to some other interesting provisions in PATRIOT Act I, the President has the right to seize the assets of immigrants, foreign nationals, or foreign nations that he decides are actively attacking the US. Basically, we just gave Donald Trump the legal right to extort Mexican Americans, Mexicans in America, and Mexico as a whole if he decides that illegal immigration from the south is an attack on the US. AND under the jurisdiction of Homeland Security, The Trump administration could expand and fill the for-profit immigrant detention funnel perpetually without any deference to due process, international law or human rights.
And not to slip any further down a slope, but it’s worth noting, that Trump’s likely Homeland Security head, David Clarke Jr., has already suggested suspension of habeas corpus and indefinite detention in Guantanamo for people he suspects of terrorist leanings without any real criteria. So in the long run, this could include any of us who choose to speak publicly for the rights of immigrants, Muslims, Mexican Americans, et al.
Scary right? But it’ll never happen here.
If you’re arrogant enough to think this couldn’t happen here…or maybe it could, but it would never effect you, I would implore you to think again. Even if there is a .000001% possibility that the US mobilizes round-up squads and fills internment camps (again…Native Americans, Japanese Americans) I want you to keep that possibility in mind.
Nearly every authoritarian regime begins very quietly and very wink-nudge with the selection of an out-group…a minority, a foreign spectre, some scapegoat to galvanize against, and then expands that group to include other out-groups and dissenters. And if the Trump regime’s goal is what his own words might lead one to believe it is: to build a Putin-worthy authoritarian oligarchy, then neither you nor I are in the in-group.
And that means you too, white Christian males.
Think about this: what group, after Mexican Americans and Muslims, has Donald Trump most actively vilified in the past year? Rural white Christians. After a year of turning 1/2 of the country against poor and rural white Christians by effectively caricaturing y’all as a bigoted, non-contributing, erratic, violent albatross around America’s financial neck, is it too far fetched to think that Trump and his robber baron cabinet (who have already foreclosed on your home, offshored your job, segregated themselves from you entirely and sheltered their fortunes at your expense) would turn on you too? If there were an inciting event (say a terrorist attack) that could be pinned on a rural, white, Christian group, would it be that difficult to mobilize the country against you? After all of the poor behavior and economic drain that has been attributed to you during this election cycle?
And I’m not trying to single out white people or Christians any more than I would people of any other faith or Pantone, I’m just saying that we’re in this together and no one is safe. When your white-Jesus dictator comes down from the sky to make the worthy rich beyond their wildest dreams, he isn’t going to include y’all based on similar skin tone, he’s going to exclude y’all based on dissimilar caste. So the best course of action, just maybe, would be to do what Jesus would do, entertain some empathy, and think of your fellow man as you would yourself. Listen, first they came for the Mexicans…