Under the Obama administration there was a plan in place to reduce the number of Non US offenders housed in Private Federal Prisons. Now, however, the Trump administration is not only seeking to undo those cuts but also add up to 1500 new capacity. The potential increases are laid out by the US Bureau of Prisons in a notice for beds in Criminal Alien Requirement (CAR) facilities, privately-managed prisons primarily for non-US citizens convicted of low-level drug and immigration offenses. The notice of bids from the Bureau of Prisons was posted on April 21 and signals an increase of 1,607 beds to the system. That could bring the total population in private prisons to 22,894.
These CAR prisons are privately run for-profit businesses that essentially generate earnings at the expense of the taxpayer. There are 11 CAR prisons across the country run by three companies: GEO Group, CoreCivic, and Management & Training Corp. These prisons hold 21,287 inmates, 96% of whom are non-US citizens, according to a Bureau of Prisons spokesman. More than half of all non-US citizens in bureau custody are held at CAR facilities, while non-citizens deemed higher security risks are held at one of 122 other federal prisons. ICE spends roughly $160 per day on each detained individual at these facilities. Over the course of a year, immigration detention costs over $2 billion, approximately $5.5 million each day. Taxpayers could save $1.44 billion each year—a nearly 80 percent decrease in detention spending—if Alternatives to Detention (ATDs) were more widely used.