Military contractors making millions helping Trump tear families apart
Children who’ve been taken into custody by the Border Patrol sleep on the floor with only a mat and an aluminum blanket in one of the cages at a facility in McAllen, Texas, June 17. | U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP

While outraged Americans across the country are calling their elected representatives and taking to the streets to protest the Trump administration’s forcible separation of parents and children at the U.S.-Mexico border, intelligence and defense contractors are raking in millions thanks to the cruel practice.

According to reporting by the Daily Beast, the intelligence contractor MVM, Inc. won an $8 million five-year contract to “provide assistance” in detention centers for unaccompanied children, and has made $42.9 million in less than a year, transporting minors to centers in Texas.

Such facilities have become crowded with children in recent months, especially following the administration’s unveiling of its new “zero tolerance” policy for undocumented immigrants who cross the southern border seeking asylum—under which adults are imprisoned while they await immigration trials and any children traveling with them are sent off to detention centers, sometimes thousands of miles away.

Previously, MVM worked with the CIA in the Iraq War, during which its employees were accused of “procuring and possessing unauthorized weapons and explosives.” The company has also faced accusations of discrimination against employees who were Muslim and African-born.

“I’m guessing that in [MVM’s] mission statement, one of the central components isn’t the care of refugee children,” immigration attorney Matthew Kolken told the Daily Beast. “It is mind-blowing that those types of industries would be even considered with respect to the care of children. They’re not equipped to be able to do it. Would you want your child to be dropped off in their hands? I know I wouldn’t.”

Still, MVM as well as the defense contractor General Dynamics, are rapidly hiring new employees to oversee the dozens of detention centers for children who have been taken from their parents or guardians after crossing the border.

Recently-advertised positions include compliance coordinators tasked with overseeing detention centers, youth care workers, and bilingual transport specialists.

“It looks right now like the Trump administration’s policies regarding immigration [are] proving to be a relatively lucrative area for private contractors,” Neil Gordon, an investigator with the Project on Government Oversight, told the Daily Beast.

Readers who wish to contact MVM about their participation in the Trump administration’s migrant child separation policy can reach the company at 571-223-4500.

CommonDreams

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CONTRIBUTOR

Julia Conley
Julia Conley

Julia Conley is a Maine-based staff writer for Common Dreams.

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