Is Your Congress Member Taking Money From Companies Profiting Off Family Detention?

Follow the money and let your representative what you know about where they git their money.

Defense contractors and for-profit immigrant detention facilities are cashing in on the Trump Administration’s child internment camps.

As the Trump Administration moves to indefinitely detain immigrant families, including those seeking asylum from violence and persecution, defense contractors have leapt to turn a profit. The government spends about $298 per day to hold just one person in a family detention center; as Trump’s “zero-tolerance” overloads existing facilities, immigrant internment camps are a perverse big business. The Daily Beast reports that defense contractors with more experience serving the CIA than refugees are hiring, anticipating new contracts in the business of keeping children in cages. As these companies angle for lucrative contracts to run sprawling detention centers for tens of thousands of immigrants, they’ve also made sizeable donations to American legislators of both parties.Those donations buy them influence with a GOP-led Congress that could end child detention any time they want to — but is pursuing anti-immigrant policies (which enrich detention contractors) instead.

No politician in the United States should accept blood money from companies literally ripping children away from their mothers’ breasts or imprisoning families. Yet Feministing found dozens of Congress members (on both sides of the aisle) who’ve taken checks from an industry built on holding immigrants in internment camps. Below is a list of Members of Congress who’ve accepted donations from just a few of these companies.

Let’s make it politically toxic to take this money. You can call your representatives at 202-225-3121 and your Senators at 202-224-3121 — tell them to return these donations and pledge never to take money from for-profit detention facilities again. Not sure who your representatives are? Find out here.

CORECIVIC: For-Profit Baby Jails

CoreCivic – the private prison conglomerate formerly known as the Corrections Corporation of America – has a $1 billion contract with the U.S. government to detain immigrant families, and the company has netted $71.6 million in revenue from just one massive family-detention facility in Dilley, Texas. If that’s not bad enough, Mother Jones reports that CoreCivic earns higher profit margins detaining children than adult men.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-partisan research group tracking the effects of money on public policy, CoreCivic spent $840,000 lobbying public officials last year. Over the course of the 2016 and 2018 campaign cycles, federal candidates received $474,777 from CoreCivic (this money doesn’t come from CoreCivic itself, but from associated PACs, owners, or employees donating $200 or more). Here’s which Members of Congress are benefiting from CoreCivic’s campaign donations and by extension, their work imprisoning children:

Senators Receiving $150 or more from CoreCivic:

  • Rob Portman (R-OH): $12,500 (2018 cycle)
  • Jeff Flake (R-AZ): $5,000 (2018)
  • Bob Corker (R-TN): $5,128 (2016 + 2018)
  • Mike Crapo (R-ID): $5,000 (2018)
  • John Hoeven (R-ND): $9,000 (2016 + 2018)
  • John Boozman (R-AR): $3,000 (2016)
  • Orrin Hatch (R-UT): $5,000 (2016 + 2018)
  • Martin Heinrich (D-NM): $2,500 (2018)
  • Kelly Ayotte (R-NH): $2,500 (2016)
  • Roy Blunt (R-MO): $2,500 (2016)
  • Jon Tester (D-MT): $5,000 (2016 + 2018)
  • Marco Rubio (R-FL): $2,500 (2016)
  • Johnny Isakson (R-GA): $2,500 (2016)
  • Jerry Moran (R-KS): $2,500 (2016)
  • John McCain (R-AZ): $1,000 (2016)
  • Tim Scott (R-SC): $1,000 (2016)
  • Ron Wyden (D-OR): $1,000 (2016)
  • Maggie Hassan (D-NH): $500 (2016)
  • Claire McCaskill (D-MO): $250 (2016)
  • Ted Cruz (R-TX): $150 (2016)

House Members Receiving $150 or more from CoreCivic:

  • Paul Ryan (Speaker, R-WI): $5,000 (2016)
  • Kevin McCarthy (House Majority Leader, R-CA): $2,500 (2016)
  • Marsha Blackburn (R-TN): $24,100 (2016 + 2018)
  • Jon Culberson (R-TX): $22,500 (2016 + 2018)
  • Chuck Fleishmann (R-TN): $11,200 (2016)
  • Will Hurd (R-TX): $7,500 (2016)
  • John Rose (R-TN): $5,500 (2018)
  • John Carter (R-TX): $5,000 (2016)
  • Ander Crenshaw: $5,000 (2016)
  • Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ): $5,000 (2016)
  • Tim Ryan (D-OH): $4,500 (2016)
  • Greg Pence (R-IN): $3,500 (2018)
  • Diane Black (R-TN): $13,500 (2016 + 2018)
  • Gregg Harper (R-MS): $6,500 (2016 + 2018)
  • Scott Desjarlis (R-TN): $3,000 (2016)
  • Michale McCaul (R-TK): $5,500 (2016 + 2018)
  • Hal Rogers (R-KY): $2,500 (2018)
  • Scott Taylor (R-VA): $2,500 (2018)
  • Robert Aderholt (R-AL): $2,500 (2016)
  • Kevin Brady (R-TX): $2,500 (2016)
  • Mike Conaway(R-TX): $2,500 (2016)
  • Henry Cuellar (D-TX): $6,500 (2016 + 2018)
  • David Kustoff (R-TN): $4,750 (2016 + 2018)
  • Martha Roby (R-AL): $2,500 (2016)
  • Todd Young (R-IN): $2,500 (2016)
  • David Joyce (R-OH): $2,000 (2016)
  • Mike Kelly (R-PA): $2,000 (2016)
  • Tom Graves (R-GA): $1,500 (2016)
  • Lamar Smith (R-TX): $1,500 (2016)
  • Paul Babeu (R-AZ): $1,000 (2016)
  • Steve Fincher (R-TN): $3,700 (2016 + 2018)
  • Bob Goodlatte (R-VA): $1,000 (2016)
  • Richard Hudson (R-NC): $1,000 (2016)
  • Pat Tiberi (R-OH): $1,000 (2016)
  • David Valadao (R-CA): $1,000 (2016)
  • Jim Cooper (D-TN): $500 (2016)

GENERAL DYNAMICS: Handling Paperwork for the Detention Machine

General Dynamics is a multinational defense contracting giant best known for building combat jets, tanks, and submarines for the US military. General Dynamics stresses that they don’t have a role in constructing or operating detention facilities for separated children. Yet the company appears to provide bureaucratic support for the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), the federal agency overseeing separated children, making money by pushing around paperwork that keeps immigrant families in prisons.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, General Dynamics accounted for $2,151,362 in campaign contributions for the 2018 campaign cycle (again, via PACs, owners, or employees giving $200 or more). Because of the sheer number of Members of Congress who received General Dynamics money, we’ve limited the below list to those who received $5,000 or more during the 2018 campaign cycle – you can view the many more who’ve received smaller amounts here.

Senators Receiving Money from General Dynamics:

  • Angus King (I-ME): $35,500 (2018)
  • Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): $32,500 (2018)
  • Chris Murphy (D-CT): $28,541 (2018)
  • Debbie Stabenow (D-MI): $25,250 (2018)
  • Jack Reed (D-RI): $13,450 (2018)
  • Sherrod Brown (D-OH): $13,010 (2018)
  • Gary Peters (D-MI): $13,000 (2018)
  • Bill Nelson (D-FL): $12,050 (2018)
  • Claire McCaskill (D-MO): $11,185 (2018)
  • Bob Casey (D-PA): $9,561 (2018)
  • Tim Kaine (D-VA): $9,121 (2018)
  • Deb Fischer (R-NE): $9,000 (2018)
  • Ted Cruz (R-TX): $8235 (2018)
  • John A Barraso (R-WY): $7,000 (2018)
  • Joe Donnelly (D-IN): $7,000 (2018)
  • Tammy Baldwin (D-WI): $6,005 (2018)
  • Roger Wicker (R-MS): $5,125 (2018) 

Representatives Receiving Money from General Dynamics:

  • Paul Ryan (Speaker, R-WI): $10,100 (2018)
  • Kevin McCarthy (Majority Leader, R-CA): $5,000 (2018)
  • Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NK): $27,900 (2018)
  • Pete Visclosky (D-IN): $16,000 (2018)
  • Ken Calvert (R-CA): $14,800 (2018)
  • Rob Wittman (R-VA): $13,700 (2018)
  • Kyrsen Sinema (D-AZ): $13,200 (2018)
  • Joe Courtney (D-CT): $12,700 (2018)
  • Duncan Hunter (R-CA): $12,500 (2018)
  • Jim Langevin (D-RI): $11,750 (2018)
  • Will Hurd (T-TX): $11,100 (2018)
  • Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL): $11,000  (2018)
  • Bruce Poliquin (R-ME): $10,500 (2018)
  • Martha McSally (R-AZ): $10,280 (2018)
  • Robert Aderholt (R-AL): $10,000 (2018)
  • Sanford Bishop (D-GA): $10,000 (2018)
  • Kay Granger (R-TX): $10,000 (2018)
  • Tom Graves (R-GA): $10,000 (2018)
  • David Joyce (R-OH): $10,000 (2018)
  • Patrick McHenry (R-NC): $10,000 (2018)
  • Devin Nunes (R-CA): $10,000 (2018)
  • Tim Ryan (D-OH): $10,000 (2018)
  • Steve Scalise (R-LA): $10,000 (2018)
  • Steve Stivers (R-OH): $10,000 (2018)
  • Michael Turner (R-OH): $10,000 (2018)
  • John Moolenaar (R-MI): $9,000 (2018)
  • Kevin Yoder (R-KS): $9,000 (2018)
  • Chellie Pingree (D-ME): $8,750 (2018)
  • Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD): $8,250 (2018)
  • Buddy Carter (R-GA): $8,000 (2018)
  • Rosa L DeLauro (D-CT): $8,000 (2018)
  • Martha Rboy (R-AL): $7,500 (2018)
  • Austin Scott (R-GA): $7,500 (2018)
  • Gerry Connolly (D-VA): $7,010 (2018)
  • Joe Kennedy III (D-MA): $7,007 (2018)
  • Henry Cuellar (D-TX): $7,000 (2018)
  • John Culberson (R-TX): $7,000 (2018)
  • Ruben Gallego (D-AZ): $7,000 (2018)
  • Doug Collins (R-GA): $6,750 (2018)
  • Charlie Crist (D-FL): $6,500 (2018)
  • Pete King (R-NY): $6,500 (2018)
  • Pete Aguilar (D-CA): $6,023 (2018)
  • Donald John Bacon (R-NE): $6,000 (2018)
  • Matt Conaway (R-TX): $6,000 (2018)
  • Paul Cook (R-CA): $6,000 (2018)
  • Mike Gallagher (R-WI): $6,000
  • Steve Knight (R-CA): $6,000 (2018)
  • Mike Rodgers (R-AL): $6,000 (2018)
  • Adam Smith (D-WA): $6,000 (2018)
  • Juan Vargas (D-CA): $6,000 (2018)
  • Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO): $5,500 (2018)
  • Karen Handel (R-GA): $5,500 (2018)
  • Brian Mast (R-FL): $5,500 (2018)
  • Michael McCaul (R-TX): $5,500 (2018)
  • Paul Mitchell (R-MI): $5,500 (2018)
  • Seth Moulten (D-MA): $5,500 (2018)
  • Scott W Taylor (R-VA): $5,500 (2018)
  • Mac Thornberry (R-TX): $5,500 (2018)
  • Marc Veasey (D-TX): $5,500 (2018)
  • Rob Woodall (R-GA): $5,500 (2018)
  • Jim Banks (R-IN): $5,000 (2018)
  • Mike Bost (R-IL): $5,000 (2018)
  • Steny Hoyer (D-MD): $5,000 (2018)
  • Don Norcross (D-NJ): $5,000 (2018)
  • Peter Roskam (R-IL): $5,000 (2018)
  • Chris Stewart (R-UT): $5,000 (2018)
  • Pat Tiberi (R-OH): $5,000 (2018)
  • Brad Wenstrup (R-OH): $5,000 (2018) 

MVM INC: The Former CIA Contractor Transporting Kids to Detention Camps

MVM Inc is a “private security contractor” which maintained contracts supplying guards in Iraq, until it lost a massive CIA contract in 2008. In recent years, the company has shifted heavily into running detention centers for immigrants. According to the Daily Beast, MVM has multiple multi-million dollar contracts with ICE and ORR for transporting immigrant children to detention centers – including the McAllen, Texas facility where U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkeley reported seeing children in “cages that looks a lot like dog kennels” and kids ripped from their parents’ arms. The contractor helped transport children forcibly separated from their parents.

Dario Marquez, Jr., the Co-Founder of MVM, makes substantial campaign donations every year. From 2017–18, FEC filings show that Marquez donated to the following campaigns:


Image Credit: Indivisible Denver