Dilley, Texas, is home to the South Texas Family Residential Center, a detention facility for immigrant women and children, which opened in 2014. The facility is managed by the private Corrections Corporation of America on behalf of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (MUST CREDIT: Photo for for The Washington Post by Ilana Panich-Linsman)

Chico Harlan – Inside the administration’s $1 billion deal to detain Central American asylum seekers

DILLEY, Tex. — As Central Americans surged across the U.S. border two years ago, the Obama administration skipped the standard public bidding process and agreed to a deal that offered generous terms to Corrections Corporation of America, the nation’s largest prison company, to build a massive detention facility for women and children seeking asylum.

The four-year, $1 billion contract — details of which have not been previously disclosed — has been a boon for CCA, which, in an unusual arrangement, gets the money regardless of how many people are detained at the facility. Critics say the government’s policy has been expensive but ineffective. Arrivals of Central American families at the border have continued unabated while court rulings have forced the administration to step back from its original approach to the border surge.

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