Many states have instituted their strict immigration laws because they believe that undocumented residents are living at the expense of the taxes paid by those with U.S. citizenship. However, it seems that many neighborhoods and businesses in the United States have actually made large profits from their illegal immigrant population.
According to Fox News, Escondido, California, law enforcement has recently been accused of utilizing its highway checkpoint operations to profit from illegal immigrants. The city, which sits about approximately 72 miles north of the Mexico border, originally installed these checkpoints to better catch drunk drivers and drivers who don’t have proper licenses.
However, a recent report from the American Civil Liberties Union, “Wrong Turn: Escondido’s Checkpoints and Impound Practices Examined,” uncovered information that points to these checkpoints’ more sinister usage. Data collected from documentary journalist John Carlos Frey found that the city will often target Hispanic-looking drivers and will then check them for their proper identification and immigration forms. Individuals who cannot show this type of documentation will then often have their car impounded and towed away. Although California laws state that no city can charge tow companies more than the actual costs of the city’s expenses for the tow, Frey’s uncovered data showing that this may be occurring in Escondido.
Sadly, this type of profiteering operation isn’t the first of its kind. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, many private jails have been making large profits off of illegal immigrants for several years. Private prisons, which are by nature for-profit businesses, currently hold 10 percent of inmates nationwide. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency pays these private prisons approximately $90 per day, per prisoner.
One of the largest, the Corrections Corporation of America, has been accused of pushing for policies that will make it more money, including but not limited to more stringent immigration detainer policies, according to Bloomberg.