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John Roberts
This is the ICE detention center for women in Taylor, TX, outside of Austin. The facility is operated by Core Civic, a for-profit prison operator listed on the NYSE under the ticker-symbol CXW. This particular detention camp holds 512 women. 1/12
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John Roberts 17 Jun 18
Replying to @_thejohnroberts
Last year, Core Civic made about $180 million dollars, and paid out 90% of that as dividends to its investors. The company is classified by the IRS as a Real Estate Investment Trust, which means it doesn't pay federal income tax on most of its earnings, nor do its investors. 2/12
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John Roberts 17 Jun 18
Replying to @_thejohnroberts
In its annual financial statements, one of the company's metrics for success is "occupancy rate." This is the same metric hotels use. Some of these women are being detained for over a year without a hearing, legal representation, or charge. 3/12
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John Roberts 17 Jun 18
Replying to @_thejohnroberts
Overall, about 50% of Core Civic's revenue comes from federal contracts, and most of those contracts are for operating ICE detention centers and other prisons. They have 78,000 "beds" in 19 states. 4/12
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John Roberts 17 Jun 18
Replying to @_thejohnroberts
Core Civic made about $2,300 per immigrant/prisoner last year, based on total income of $180 million dollars and a capacity of 78,000 beds. They own 58% of all private prison beds in the U.S. 5/12
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John Roberts 17 Jun 18
Replying to @_thejohnroberts
Anyway, I drove out to Taylor, TX today to check it out. I spent time at the front entrance and drove around the outside of the fence line on a public road. You can see a large group of women gathered in the shade and along the fence-line in the photo below. 6/12
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John Roberts 17 Jun 18
Replying to @_thejohnroberts
Women in this facility and others like it around the country are regularly subject to sexual assault, and the FBI is now investigating. 7/12
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John Roberts 17 Jun 18
Replying to @_thejohnroberts
There are powerful financial incentives at work in the story, and in the U.S. immigration story more generally. The policies of the Trump administration are horrific, but the financial incentives, not the rhetoric, predict the behavior of those responsible. 8/12
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John Roberts 17 Jun 18
Replying to @_thejohnroberts
The allies of the Trump administration don't want tougher immigration policies- they want more profitable policies. The best way to profit from federal immigration contracts is to repeatedly process, transport, & indefinitely detain human beings in the most efficient way possible
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John Roberts 17 Jun 18
Replying to @_thejohnroberts
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John Roberts 17 Jun 18
Replying to @_thejohnroberts
If you can safely visit an ICE facility near you, or one owned or operated by Core Civic, go see it. If you're a white man like me, you can walk up to these places without fear, ask questions, and share what you see and hear. 11/12
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John Roberts 17 Jun 18
Replying to @_thejohnroberts
Support the National Immigration Law Center: And spend time learning from the ACLU's page on private prisons: 12/12
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John Roberts 18 Jun 18
Replying to @_thejohnroberts
Additional Point: A mentor reminded me today that the flow of money & immigration policies work together in a coordinated system of and for white supremacy. The financial incentives & racist immigration policies are aligned to, directly support, and are a result of, that system.
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John Roberts 21 Jun 18
Replying to @_thejohnroberts
For example, the 2017 Tax Cut was specifically & unusually generous to prison investors. Investors in REITs like Core Civic receive relatively higher distributions than some other investments because the Cos don't pay income tax on the cash they distribute
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John Roberts 21 Jun 18
Replying to @_thejohnroberts
However, the 2017 Tax Cut further reduced the tax liability of investors in Core Civic. Investors in for-profit prisons pay taxes on *part* of the distributions they receive (lots of exceptions) but the tax structure is favorable to them at both the company & individual level.
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John Roberts 26 Jun 18
Replying to @_thejohnroberts
Update: The county has ended its contract with ICE and Core Civic.
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