Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Overseas Detention

One of the issues that seems to spark a lot of strong emotion with people these days is illegal immigration. There are a lot of people with a lot of different ideas about how to keep our borders more secure, from Cain's electrified fence (he said it was a joke, but I'm pretty sure that if he'd said it in a debate, the crowd would have cheered and he would have defended it), to this.
Brian Jones's plan is to allow U.S. prisons to be built in foreign countries and operated by U.S. companies and the government there, but be specific to illegal immigrants that were originally from those countries. It sounds like a good idea, but consider some of the implications of this.

First of all, you're allowing corrections companies, the private companies that control our prisons, to move their operations to a foreign country. That right there reduces their operations costs by a huge factor. Second, it gives those companies the opportunity to ship jobs to those countries, even though this probably wouldn't happen at too high a rate.

The biggest issue I have, though, is that these companies receive government funding to maintain operations. That is how they make their money. So, they will be operating in a foreign country, using cheap foreign labor to detain illegal immigrants. Keep in mind that illegal immigration is such a big problem that these "overseas" prisons would pretty much be at capacity all the time, with a fast turnover rate. In other words, they would be very profitable.

So, Mr. Jones wants to allow private businesses to set up shop in foreign countries to detain American illegals on the dime of the government. That money, instead of making it into the pockets of Americans who work at these prisons, would instead be used to pay the people in those countries to run the prisons, while the owners of the corrections companies make much greater profits as a result of their reducing the overhead costs for labor.

America may have an illegal immigration problem, but this is making an even bigger issue out of it. If these companies are profiting off of illegal immigration, they have a vested interest in having illegals get into the United States. The more illegals there are, the more money there is to be made. If we were to secure the border 100% against all illegal immigrants, these corrections companies would lose a large portion of their income, something they are going to fight against. So, until we take the money out of illegal immigration, there will be little to no progress made in securing our border. Illegal immigration has helped these companies, as well helped the US economy by providing cheap labor that Americans won't do, or do as well.

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