Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is at the center of a controversy involving immigration reform and several advocacy groups are calling on him to return campaign contributions from the private prison industry if he wants to continue working on the legislation.
The Senator is one of the key figures in the political debate that is seeking to establish whether undocumented immigrants in the U.S. will be legalized, deported or imprisoned. Yet his involvement has angered numerous advocacy groups and charities as he has received more than $100,000 in campaign contributions from the private prison industry – an industry that would profit greatly if legislation is passed that would mean undocumented immigrants were imprisoned.
For many this clearly presents a conflict of interest and they are calling on the senator to return the funds if he wishes to continue working on immigration reform.
American advocacy group Presente.org, which seeks to amplify the political voice of Latino groups in the U.S. has started a petition demanding that Senator Schumer gives the money back. Their petition states;
“We can’t trust Sen. Schumer to push for fair legislation when he’s accepting money from private prison companies that have a strong interest in jailing as many immigrants as possible. How much of an interest? The two corporations from which Sen. Schumer took money, GEO Group and CCA, made $296.9 million in profits from the jailing of immigrants last year.”
Their message states that the Senators actions are “unacceptable” and implore him to return the campaign funding immediately. If they get 15,000 signatures, they will personally deliver the petitions to Senator Schumer and demand a response.