The Miserable Plight of Immigrants in For-Profit Detention Centers

by Project Censored
Published: Last Updated on

Big corporations are making billions by incarcerating illegal immigrants.  More than two-thirds of immigrants currently being detained in the United States are held in so-called contract facilities owned by private companies.  Most of those brought before the court have no legal representation and are railroaded through the system. They do not have adequate health care.  Many of these detainees are single parents with small children at home. These children lose their only parent and are placed in foster homes.

One such detainee was Evelyn Obey, a 40 year old, Guatemalan single mother of a 12-year-old and a 6-year-old who was picked up in an immigration raid in Newark, N.J.  The children never saw their mother again.  Obey died in jail in 2010 from, according to the sign hung on her neck, “pulmonary thromboembolism, chronic bronchiolitis and emphysema and remote cardiac Ischemic Damage.”

Marela, an undocumented immigrant said in Spanish, “She called me two days after she was seized.  She was hysterical.  She was crying. She was worried about her children.  We helped her get a lawyer.  Then we heard she was sick.  Then we heard she died.  She was buried in an unmarked grave.”

But human beings matter little in the corporate world. We have abandoned the common good.  We have been stripped of our rights and voice.  Corporations write our laws and determine how we structure our society.  We have all become victims.



Chris Hedges, “Profiting from Human Misery,”, February 18, 2013.

Student Researcher:  Ronda Valasco, College of Marin

Faculty Evaluator:   Susan Rahman, College of Marin