Progressive protesters assail Schumer for taking cash from private-prison interests

A coalition of progressive organizations will stage a protest outside Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer’s New York office on Tuesday to assail his immigration policies, which they feel are being shaped by campaign contributions from private-prison interests.

Presente.org is joining with the Migrant Power Alliance, Dream Action Coalition and the National Alliance for Latino and Caribbean Communities, among other groups, for a “National Day of Action” targeting Schumer, who is a member of the bipartisan “gang of eight” senators who will introduce a comprehensive immigration reform bill as soon as next Monday.

“We’ve got over 100 people rallying outside Schumer’s New York office. We’re delivering over 30,000 petitions calling on Schumer to give back the money he received from private prisons,” Presente.org senior campaigner Gabriela Garcia told The Daily Caller.

Schumer and his affliated PAC received $35,500 in campaign contributions this past election cycle from Fidelity Investments (FMR Corp.), which disclosed in 2010 a 14.57 percent stake, worth $141.48 million, in the private corrections facilities provider GEO Group. It also owns a stake in the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), according to an SEC filing. Schumer also accepted $64,243 from the lobbying firm Akin Gump et al, which lobbies on behalf of CCA.

GEO Group and CCA own and operate detention facilities under contract with federal, state and municipal governments.

Progressives have claimed that nearly half of all immigrants detained by federal officials are held in facilities operated by private prison corporations like GEO Group and CCA, marking a significant point of tension between pro-immigrant progressive groups and entrenched Democratic politicians who have accepted cash from private-prison interests.

Presente.org claimed that private prison companies “have a strong interest in jailing as many immigrants as possible.”