Sen Chuck Schumer took $100K from private prisons, now gets to help decide whether to send undocumented immigrants to jail

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is one of the key figures in the political wrangle over whether undocumented immigrants in the USA will be legalized or deported. He's also the recipient of over $100,000 in campaign contributions from the private prison industry, whose profits would skyrocket if his push for prison for all those people is successful.

Chuck Schumer is the lead Senate Democrat working on immigration reform--he gets to decide whether millions of undocumented immigrants will be imprisoned or legalized. Yet he’s also taken over $100,000 in campaign contributions from the private prison industry. Is it any surprise he’s pushing for billions more dollars spent on increased enforcement and detention of immigrants?

We can’t trust Sen. Schumer to push for fair legislation when he’s accepting money from private prison companies that have a strong interest in jailing as many immigrants as possible. How much of an interest? The two corporations from which Sen. Schumer took money, GEO Group and CCA, made $296.9 million in profits from the jailing of immigrants last year.

Tell Sen. Schumer to return this money immediately.

If 15,000 people sign, we'll personally deliver your petitions to Sen. Schumer and demand a response.

Sen. Schumer: Give back the money (via Making Light)


    1. I hear some of their lobbyists worked for the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation.

  1. Aren’t there international treaties against the slave trade, granting universal jurisdiction in slave trade cases? So why can’t foreign courts hold American politicians, businesses, etc. liable for their involvement? Sure, they can’t touch assets in America, but potentially elsewhere?

    1. I imagine it works in the same way the ICC does: Only tiny third world baddies ever face judgement..

  2. Can we instead petition him to attempt to implement sane legislation and not give the money back? Because giving it back would entail handing $100,000 directly to jerks.

    1. How about this: We make him give $100,000k to a charity or group of charities.  That would please me as a way of ridding his corrupt ass of the ill gotten gains.

      1. Can a campaign legally just turn around and hand money to a charity unrelated to the campaign? I don’t know from campaign finance regulation, but it would seem like kind of a bad idea.

        1. Probably not. I was spitballing about what we could do to confiscate the dirty money without making it a kickback where the government gets to profit from campaign corruption.

          It’s not a great idea, just an idea, probably a bad one.

          What would be great is if we could just make him withdraw the money and burn it. Then the campaign loses the money and GEO doesn’t get it refunded.

        2. Once you’ve got campaign money in hand, it’s pretty much yours. There have been a number of stories about losers who still had money left over and just treated it as personal cash. It’s woefully underregulated.

  3. Prison unions and corporations lobbying for stricter laws and punishment, attempting to increase the prison population for their own benefit, is one of the most disgusting things I can imagine. Absolutely on par with slavery.

    1.  ..always wondered that if one dug deeply enough into the persistence to fight “The War on Drugs” that one would find the incarceration industry lobby.  but then, that’s conspiracy crazy talk, right?

  4. I wonder how much money Sen. Schumer has taken from organizations that oppose the private prison industry. For example, he scores a 91% from the ACLU, which opposed private prisons (although the ACLU doesn’t donate to candidates.)

        1. One that’s remotely comparable to the prison lobby? Can buy the naming rights for a college stadium? I’d settle for just knowing about any anti-private prison lobby. I can’t think of any offhand.

          1. The ACLU is a well funded lobbying group that opposes private prisons. Is it comparable to the private prison lobby? No idea, which is why I asked..

            Did I answer quickly enough for you?

          2. No, it’s not. The ACLU fights against private prisons via education, and litigation if necessary, but it’s just one of many, many human/civil rights issues they’re stretched thin dealing with. They are not allowed to donate money to politicians like these private prison lobbies are. So no, they’re not similar in any way. They have no comparable way to curry favor and influence with people like Schumer.

            I’m glad this has been cleared up.

  5. Maybe some other more scrupulous senator could introduce a bill to nationalize all our prisons.

    1. renationalize FTFY

      There’s no ethical reason to privatize prisons.  There’s only the unethical practice of trading on human confinement, labor and misery for a profit.  Functionally the same thing as slavery.

    2. Scrupulous leaders aren’t in the profit-making business and cannot, therefore, afford to run for election. Scrupulous organizations, having the same cashflow problem, cannot afford to donate to such campaigns.

    3. While it might be possible to nationalize private prisons (provided their fair value is paid to the owners), attempting to nationalize state prisons would likely be unconstitutional. There’s no constitutional mechanism for stepping in and seizing state government property.

      Of course, most prisoners in private prisons are state prisoners, so that would put the federal government in a money-making business of providing services to states. That might provide a nice little incentive to direct more business there.

    1. I’m going to take a wild guess that they lobby against medical marijuana and relaxing drug laws as well.

    2. FTA Correction: “Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce was the originator of the draft legislation that later became Arizona SB 1070. This story did not mean to suggest that the Corrections Corporation of America was the catalyst behind the law or that it took a corporate position in favor of the legislation.”

  6. wait a minute here.   Are you saying,   elected officials are not always thinking of our best interests,  but instead take large sums of money, and sell their votes and opinions???    I am SHOCKED.  SHOCKED I tell you.

    1. I was reading about some minor political foofaraw in the UK last week, and the official who should have caught the problem before it happened said, “I don’t have time to look at every…” whatever it was.  And I just thought, “Of course, you don’t have time to do your actual job; you’re too busy making sure that you’ll still have it after the next election.”

      How much could government officials get done if they spent all their time on their jobs instead of on sucking up for cash and votes?

  7. Lobbyists should be banned and politicians jailed for taking bribes. Unfortunately this is not going to happen unless…

    1. We’ve become a government
      • OF the thousandaires (the 99%, that would be me and thee,)
      • BY the millionaires (the 1%, that would be the extremely insular privileged overlords and bosses,)
      • FOR the billionaires (the 12,400 individuals identified by the IRS as the people who count (though they don’t really count as they hire some thousandaires to run machines to do that.)

      How is this different than the political situation that led to the founding of the United States?

      It isn’t, really.

      One system had privilege being a condition of one’s birth.

      The situation in the United States is the (cess)pool of nobles has expanded to people that the corporations like and are willing to fund.

      The first thing we do is change from an ELECTED to a SELECTED form of government.

      Pick names at random out an eligible citizen pool and they’re stuck with doing the job for one, and only one, four year term.

      There could/should/would be no such thing as a career in politics. (The only thing worse than getting stuck with somebody who didn’t want the job is getting stuck with some idiot who did, figuring it was going to lift him a few rungs up the social/economic ladder.)

      And don’t give me that bullshit about average citizens don’t know enough about politics.

      Average citizens know right from wrong and are likely to at least read a bill before they sign and pass it on.

      Average citizens know enough to be suspicious and not so venial and blinded by the lure of undeserved re-election.

      Eligibility requirements are:
      • were you born here or are you a naturalized citizen?
      • are you a permanent resident in a village, town or city within our borders?
      • are you above the age of 25?
      • are you healthy enough? (you don’t suffer from any clinical health issue(s) or mental impairment(s) which would prevent you from fulfilling your duties?)
      • have you never served on the government before?
      • have you never been found guilty of a violent crime?
      • have you never been found to be clinically insane?

      Answer yes to all of these questions, you’re eligible for selection.

      Don’t want to be bothered?

      Go live elsewhere or STFU!

      That would get rid of all PACs, K Street lobbyists, a lot of graft, waste and expense that WE’RE all paying for.

      1.  I think we can do better than that. Not to say that selected government wouldn’t be better than the one we have now, but a significant percentage of our population is dumb as shit (mostly thanks to the way education has been handled in this country). I think we’d still get a better percentage of decent leaders out of  a random draw than we do now (not hard considering we’re currently hovering somewhere around 0% on that front) but ultimately I think we can find a better solution than picking leaders at random.

      2.  We need to elect more people like Alan Grayson and Elizabeth Warren who really represent the people and not some damned corporation.

        Anything too big to fail or too big to prosecute needs to be broken up in lots of little bitty pieces.

  8. If the USA is going to outsource it’s prison service, perhaps it should outsource it to China.

    UK, G4S and Serco, not a lot different.

  9. I was never really sure what to make of the “prison Tycoon” series of videogames… Just like the stadium being named, they’ve got to normalize the unacceptable.

  10. Does he take money from pro-immigration groups too? I suppose it could be a wash. In any case, the story doesn’t seem to say one way or another, and that would be crucial information.

    Therefore, i deem this story to be participating in fear-mongering.

    1. Not only that, you get to “$100,000” only by including $34,000 that comes from Fidelity Mutual, a large company that only has a 5%-8% interest in 2 private prison corps. So that’s more fearmongery via inaccuracy  Do you ever vet these articles Cory?

  11. “$296.9 million in profits from the jailing of immigrants last year.”
    that seems like an awful lot to make JUST off of the immigrants you jailed last year. Citation?

    1. Ok I found this elsewhere

      “The government generally outsources the incarceration of illegal immigrants to private companies, and this trend has been a boon for the private prison industry, which receives $441.9 million a year from the Federal Bureau of Prisons and $296.9 million a year from Immigration and Customs Enforcement contracts. Approximately 400,000 illegal immigrants are detained each year, and the detentions cost taxpayers about $2 billion annually.”

      so if that’s what you GROSS from a contract to provide incarceration for lawbreaking immigrants, it doesn’t mean that after you factor in the expenses of running the prisons you make NET  $296.9 million profits. 

      So more fearmongering. 

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