At least until Wednesday night, when he suggested a possible change in his hard-nosed stance on immigration, Donald Trump was enjoying support from the for-profit detention industry.
GEO Group, which operates correctional, residential treatment and immigrant detention facilities across the country, contributed $45,000 to the Trump Victory PAC in April, The Hill reports.
GEO Group knows the importance of Washington ties. Norman A. Carlson, former director of federal prisons, is director emeritus. Anne N. Foreman, former under secretary of the Air Force, is a director. The company spent $560,000 last year lobbying federal agencies and officials.
The company maintaining the most detention beds is the Corrections Corporation of America, which spent $1 million on Washington lobbyists in 2015. Reports filed by its PAC to date don’t show direct contributions to Trump.
CCA’s chief exec, Damon Hininger, last month voiced confidence in a rosy future no matter who wins the Oval Office in November.
“I would say that being around 30 years and being in operation in many, many states, and also doing work with the federal government going back to the ’80s, where you had a Clinton White House, you had a Bush White House, you had an Obama White House, we’ve done very, very well,” Hininger said.
Hillary Rodham Clinton said last October that she would no longer accept donations from the industry. In April, she announced, “We should end private prisons and private detention centers.”
Trump, who previously said he would deport all illegal immigrants, indicated Wednesday that he was considering a plan for allowing those who have lived in the country for many years to stay.
He is expected to deliver a speech on immigration next week in Phoenix.