Private prison operator sees gold in immigration crackdown

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The largest U.S. private prison operator says it can provide the additional detention facilities likely needed under President Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration.

In an earnings call this week, CoreCivic (CXW) President/CEO Damon Hininger identified the possible opportunity to expand its business with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

In August, when it was formerly named Corrections Corporation of America, the company’s stock price dropped when the Obama administration announced the Justice Department would wind down private prison use.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement contracts were unaffected. Hininger said high immigrant detention populations at CoreCivic’s ICE-contracted facilities helped fuel its fourth-quarter boost.

Hininger said more detention capacity could be needed after two Trump orders last month, which include building a U.S.-Mexico border wall and adding detention and border patrol officers, all largely pending congressional funding.