ICE is wrongfully withholding records of private prison contracts, according to a new lawsuit filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
On June 17, 2022, CREW requested all agreements made since January 20, 2021 between ICE Office of Acquisition Management and GEO Group, a private prison company operating many ICE detention facilities. CREW also requested records and communications relating to President Biden’s executive order eliminating the use of private detention facilities. ICE has failed to release the requested records and declined to provide an estimated processing time for the request.
Despite Biden establishing an executive order to phase out the use of privately operated criminal detention facilities by the federal government in January 2021, the order does not apply to ICE detention facilities—many of which are operated for profit by GEO Group and private prison company CoreCivic. Rather than being eliminated, privately owned immigration detention has expanded and continued to profit under the Biden administration.
These records would shine light on the extent to which the federal government is maintaining business with private prisons, despite the Biden administration’s promises to eliminate these contracts.