Commentary: Lawsuit against GEO Group over alleged forced labour in detention centres could impact future immigration policy in USA

Author: Madison Pauly, Mother Jones (USA), Published on: 3 April 2017

"How a Private Prison Company Used Detained Immigrants for Free Labor", 3 Apr 2017

...The GEO Group, the private prison company that operates Aurora, allegedly forced more than 50,000 immigrants...to work without pay or for $1 a day since 2004...On February 27, a federal judge ruled that their case could proceed as a class action, breathing new life into a suit that exposes the extent to which the for-profit company relied on cheap or unpaid detainee labor to minimize costs..."If we're right, and these practices are illegal, it has tremendous implications on the ability of the government to use detention in the immigration enforcement architecture," says...an immigration attorney on the detainees' legal team...The...the facility's sanitation policy, under which detainees...were required to work as janitors without pay.  If they didn't, they risked being punished with solitary confinement...In a statement, GEO spokesman Pablo Paez wrote that GEO's volunteer work program policies follow federal standards...The lawsuit also argues that the sanitation policy violated the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, a modern anti-slavery statute...

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Related companies: GEO Group