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Private Prisons Want Trump's Zero Tolerance Agenda-- Can You Guess Why?

What a video! MJ Hegar is running for the Texas congressional seat that covers Williamson and Bell counties, TX-31, between Waco and Austin. It runs from Killeen in the north and Round Rock in the south. The PVI is a daunting R+10. Romney won it 59.6% to 38.3% and Trump won it 53.5% to 40.8%. Bell County includes part of Fort Hood, the largest American military base in the world. It's a traditionally Democratic district but Carter, can ultra-conservative Republican, has been in office since 2002. He never deviates from a hardline GOP approach. For example, on Thursday he voted for the extreme anti-immigration bill and for the far right Agriculture bill.

Carter is a backbencher you rarely hear about outside of his own district. He doesn't do anything except for for extreme right-wing proposals. His Trump adhesion score is 98.8%, the second highest in Congress after whip Steve Scalise. He's a member of the Tea Party Caucus. He's also a bit of a crook

On Thursday the Dallas Morning News revealed that Carter, along with John Culberson (R-TX) and Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX) have taken massive bribes from GEO and it's executives, the private prison company that stands to gain the most from Trump's "zero tolerance" policy that locks up huge numbers of border crossers and their children. GEO operates the private immigration detention facilities in Karnes City, Laredo, Pearsall and Conroe.

Culberson is facing a tough re-election race against Democrat Lizzie Fletcher. The race has been rated a ‘toss up’ by nonpartisan analyst Cook Political Report.

Culberson received the most funding from GEO out of Texas members of Congress, but GEO is also the top donor this cycle for U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, who received $32,400, and Round Rock Republican Rep. John Carter, who received $31,600.

Both Culberson and Cuellar serve on the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee, which funds private immigration detention centers. Culberson is also the chairman of and Carter serves on the House Appropriations subcommittee on commerce, justice and science, which oversees funding for private prisons.

Cuellar’s campaign manager Colin Strother said that GEO is one of the largest employers in Cuellar’s district, and that Cuellar has not allowed campaign contributions to influence his decisions.

“If you live in a district in the state of Washington, you get boating money. If you live in a district in Nebraska, you get agriculture money. We have a district with lots of jail facilities that employ lots of people,” Strother said.

Culberson’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment.

Henry Cuéllar and Vicente Gonzalez were 2 of the 3 Democrats-- the other was another Blue Dog, Fireman Vela-- who refused to sign a bipartisan discharge petition to allow a DACA debate, killing it. Now we know why.

Another one of the largest groups that runs private immigration detention centers in the United States is CoreCivic. The company runs facilities in Houston, Laredo, Dilley and Taylor.

CoreCivic PACs have given less money to candidates than GEO, but still contributed to three Texans, according to OpenSecrets.org: Culberson with $11,000, McCaul with $3,500 and Cuellar with $1,500.

Thursday, the Houston Chronicle reported on the fate of the more than 2,400 children who are under 12 years old that the Trump regime separated from their parents and locked up in Texas.

“It’s chaos,” said Michelle Brané, director of migrant rights at the Women’s Refugee Commission, a national advocacy group. “Everything is just moving really fast … I am not convinced they have a plan for reunifying those they have separated.”

...Under Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, parents usually served just a few days of prison time for illegally crossing the border before going to immigration detention centers run by the Department of Homeland Security. From there, they can be quickly deported without their children. In one case, a Guatemalan father was deported and had no idea where his 18-month-old toddler was for five months until they were reunited in December.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement has said it is not routinely informed about how or when parents and children were separated and where the adults may be.

“You’re talking about 2,000-plus children scattered across America,” said U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Houston Democrat. “What a difficult challenge and our fear is that we lose one child.”

The sudden influx of so many very young children has overwhelmed the federal government, which has put out emergency calls for contractors across the nation to provide more bed space and recruit more foster parents. It has meant some children are not put in a foster home with a family, as has generally been the goal for “tender age” kids, but instead may stay for weeks and even months in a residential shelter intended for older children. Most child advocates believe this is not in the best interests of the children.

“Kids, particularly young kids, should be in a smaller, more community-based setting, as opposed to the larger scale institutional-like settings,” said Kathryn Kuennen, associate director of children's services with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which cares for unaccompanied minors.

I haven't talked to a Democratic congressional candidate who isn't concerned about this. Yesterday Randy Bryce, for one, was majorly pissed off. This is what he told his own supporters:

Yesterday, Melania Trump boarded a plane to visit the US-Mexico border, where over 2300 children have been separated from their parents, wearing a jacket that read on the back, "I really don't care. Do u?"

Yeah Melania, I really freaking care.

I care about everyday Americans. I care about hardworking families in Wisconsin and at the border. And millions of Americans, all across the country, stood up and showed that they care too.

But that isn't enough. While Trump may have signed an executive order, if you read the fine print, it doesn't solve the problem. All this order does is turn family separation into family incarceration. And to make matters worse, Donald Trump is still refusing to reunite the children the US has already separated from their parents under his watch.

We have to keep the pressure up because we have to make sure these families are released and reunited immediately. To do that, we need to demand an end to Trump's zero tolerance immigration policy.

Call your representatives now and demand they support an end to Trump's zero tolerance immigration policy. Dial (202) 224-3121 to reach the Capitol Switchboard and speak with your representative.

...We have to keep up the fight, because when we fight, we win.

Source: 
Down With Tyranny

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