A report released Wednesday said that President Joe Biden received more than $5 million in campaign contributions from members of the border security industry—a figure that was three times more than contributions made to Donald Trump.
According to a release from the Transnational Institute (TNI), American Friends Service Committee, and Mijente about their new Biden’s Border: The industry, the Democrats and the 2020 report, “Biden himself received three times more individual contributions ($5,364,994) from executives and leading employees of the border industry than Donald Trump ($1,730,435).”
In addition, the release noted the following: “…2020 elections campaign contributions data that show that 13 leading border security and immigration detention firms donated over $40 million to both political parties but favored Democrats (55%) over Republicans (45%).”
The pivot towards Democrats, the release said, was likely a strategy by the border security industry “to ensure influence regardless of election outcomes and to try and prevent policy changes from any incoming administration that could affect a lucrative industry worth $55.1 billion between 2008 and 2020.”
The release explained that the new report profiled 13 companies of the U.S. border security industry: CoreCivic, Deloitte, Elbit Systems, GEO Group, General Atomics, General Dynamics, G4S, IBM, Leidos, Lockheed Martin, L3Harris, Northrop Grumman, and Palantir.
“Some of the firms also provide other services and products to the U.S. government, but border and detention contracts have been a consistently growing part of all of their portfolios. The data examines both individual donations by leading employees and donations made through Political Action Committees (PACs),” the release noted.
According to the release, contributions of close to $10 million ($9,674,911) in the 2020 cycle were also made to key members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees and the House Homeland Security Committee, including Democrat Senator Jack Reed ($426,413), Republican Congresswoman Kay Granger ($442,406) and Republican Senator Richard Shelby ($430,150).
“The report welcomes key initiatives by the Biden administration to change course on border and immigration from Trump’s aggressive anti-immigrant policies. However, Biden’s support for a ‘virtual wall’ and ‘smart borders’ that depend more on surveillance technologies than physical wall construction is actually more lucrative for the border security industry and would continue a long bipartisan approach to border militarization in place since the early 1990s,” the release noted. “Nearly 8,000 bodies have been recovered in the U.S.–Mexico borderlands between 1998 and 2019 and many more people were disappeared or separated from families as a result of policies by both parties.”
The complete report is below:
“This report reveals the profound and pervasive connections of money and influence between security and arms corporations and politicians. If Democrats truly want to oppose the cruelty and deadliness of this enforcement apparatus, they will have to do much more than reverse Trump’s inhumane policies. They will have to challenge this entrenched and lucrative system, including the infrastructure and technology that facilitates it and the industry that thrives off it,” said Todd Miller, researcher and co-author of the report.
It is expected that Biden’s newest immigration reform bill be formally submitted to Congress later this week.