Why Are Families Still Being Split Up at the Border? It’s a Billion-Dollar Business

Investors and venture capitalists are always debating which industry is set to become the next “big thing.”ť After all, who doesn’t want to make easy money? Turns out, we may have just found the hottest new booming business: putting immigrant children in jails and foster care.

A stunning new report from AP has found that as efforts to round up and deport undocumented immigrants in the United States have grown over the past decade, so too has the money to be made off of detaining these people.

While it’s no secret that Immigration and Customs Enforcement has come to routinely rely on private prison contractors to house their detainees, few had previously paid attention to the treatment of immigrant children. But with growing scrutiny around the Trump administration’s policy of separating minors from their parents at the Mexican border, it’s critical to examine the profiteering at the expense of these children.

In 2007, Health and Human Services spent $74.5 million on services for separated immigrant children, which included grants for foster programs, detention centers and related programs. But just 10 years later, those costs rose to an incredible $958 million. Though figures are not yet available for 2018, there’s no reason to believe this trend will not continue upward.

In other words, separating children from their parents over their undocumented status is now a billion dollar industry.

Where does all this money end up? Because the government itself has no infrastructure to hold these children, Health and Human Services relies on outsourcing to a variety of groups, including for-profits and religious organizations. One of the largest benefactors of these contracts is Baptist Child and Family Services, which alone has pulled in nearly $1 billion in government contracts since 2008.

Readers may recall that a Baptist Child and Family Services facility in California made headlines after an activist was arrested for attempting to deliver toys to children held there.

Somewhat ironically, President Trump’s justification for his immigrant crackdown is that it will ultimately benefit documented citizens, as well as save taxpayer dollars. But with costs soaring to do just this, this line of reasoning comes across as deeply flawed.

While critics of Trump’s draconian immigration policies often cite bigotry and prejudice when offering their condemnation — and they aren’t  entirely wrong — as usual, it’s important to follow the money. Though rounding up undocumented people and splitting up families at the border might seem to be entirely about immigration, it’s also about seeing government money funneled to the private sector — even better if it is a religious organization.

Photo Credit: Daily Chalkupy/Flickr

36 comments

Brian F
Brian F5 days ago

This is sad, but our immigration laws must be enforced, or 2 billion illegal immigrants will flood into the country, and destroy it. The Democrats want to destroy the country by supporting open borders, sanctuary cities, and abolishing ICE. These policies are tantamount to national suicide.

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Paulo R
Paulo R12 days ago

terrible

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Emma L
Emma L14 days ago

Horrible

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Celine R
Celine R17 days ago

... Why must everything become a money-led business?

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David F
David F17 days ago

Dot A. Milton Friedman and Phil Donahue On capitalism and Greed 2.5 min.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ0-cDKMS5M

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David F
David F17 days ago

Just yesterday, a Fort Myers Florida police officer died after being shot in the head by an illegal immigrant from Haiti.

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Jamie Clemons
Jamie Clemons18 days ago

No that is not the reason. Families were split up for the same reason they don't send your kids to jail with you when you go to jail. The illegal immigrants broke the law and were detained (that means arrested). Should we send the kids to adult jail with their parents?

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Toni W
Toni W19 days ago

TYFS

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Toni W
Toni W19 days ago

TYFS

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Dot A
Dot A19 days ago

Capitalism is not a perfect system, however, with a money-loving con-artist business narcissist at the helm, - making a profit at the cost of losing our human dignity will escalate and infest our country like a rapidly killing disease. Love of money = death by greed. Money is a tool, not intended to be god of our existence. I'd say by the actions of the Republicans, - they're willing to sell their souls for gold. TRumpelstiltskin - ideology.

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