Guantanamo

A private security contractor is operating under a $32 million contract to house undocumented immigrants at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba according to federal records.

Federal Business Opportunities (FBO), a government database showing all private contractors awarded taxpayer-funded contracts, shows that the Department of Homeland Security is paying MVM Inc. $32 million to keep undocumented immigrants at Guantanamo. The contract, which was initially discovered by journalist Brendan O’Connor, was awarded in 2017, according to records.

The Guantanamo Bay facility for undocumented immigrants is presumably separate from the facility that’s been used at the naval base since 2001 to house detainees being held indefinitely for allegations of participating in terrorism (even though some of those detainees have been held for more than a decade without ever being formally charged with a crime, much less convicted of one).

However, the fact that a private company is making millions of dollars housing immigrant detainees at the same relative location where horrific abuse of detainees has been well-documented, pulls the curtain back on how much the prison-industrial complex is profiting from the Trump administration’s immigration policy. According to the GovTribe profile for MVM Inc., the Ashburn, Virginia-based company pulls in approximately $180 million in annual revenue, meaning the Guantanamo Bay contract accounts for a significant portion of the company’s revenue.

A June report from The Daily Beast shows that MVM is a major go-to contractor for the federal government when it comes to detaining immigrants. The Beast dug up a job posting on Indeed asking for applicants to submit their resumes for a Youth Care Worker Relief position “in anticipation of a contract award.

The company has a controversial past. In 2008, MVM apparently lost out on a contract with the CIA for “failing to provide enough armed guards.” Last year, the company was accused of a racial harassment incident in which a supervisor apparently used a slur to describe a Muslim employee, allegedly forcing him to shave his beard. MVM contractors in Iraq were also apparently involved in a scandal in which its workers — who were working on behalf of the CIA and the National Security Agency — were involved in “procuring and possessing unauthorized weapons and explosives.

In addition to MVM, other private contractors are also making millions off of the administration’s detaining of undocumented immigrants, including Southwest Key, Comprehensive Health Services Inc., and Dynamic Service Solutions.

 

Scott Alden is a freelance contributor covering national politics, education, and environmental issues. He is a proud Toledo University graduate, and lives in the suburbs of Detroit.

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