Trump CFPB Pick Met with Private Prison Co. at Center of Immigrant Detention Concerns

Trump CFPB Pick Kathy Kraninger Has Refused to Answer Questions About the Role She Played in the Admin’s Family Separation Immigration Policy

Eleven Democratic Senators Sent Letters to Private Prison Contractors Regarding Concerns About Their Immigration Detention Facilities


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following news that eleven Democratic Senators sent letters to private prison contractors GEO Group and CoreCivic regarding mistreatment and unsafe conditions at several for-profit immigration detention centers, Allied Progress pointed to Kathy Kraninger, a senior Office of Management and Budget official and President Trump’s nominee for CFPB Director who met with GEO Group in February. Just days later, she also met with officials from ICE and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Six weeks after that, the Trump administration announced its “zero tolerance” immigration policy which led to family separations.

While experts have said Kraninger’s fingerprints are likely all over the Trump administration’s family separation immigration policy, she has refused to reveal any details about her work on the issue despite repeated questions from Senators as part of her confirmation process for CFPB director. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has filed cloture on Kraninger’s nomination, indicating a confirmation vote could come soon after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Senators are right to be concerned about the mistreatment and unsafe conditions at these for-profit immigration detention facilities. This disappointing and highly predictable outcome of the inhumane, chaotic, and unorganized family separation policy advanced by the Trump administration must be investigated in the new Congress,” said Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress.

He continued, “Kathy Kraninger had several opportunities to come clean about her involvement in this reprehensible and ill-conceived policy, but she has refused to give a straight answer every step of the way. She and the White House have rebuffed requests that they turn over important documents about her role overseeing the policy. That should give every Senator pause when they consider her pending confirmation.

Allied Progress is currently in litigation with the Office of Management and Budget over Freedom of Information Act requests that would include communications and other documents related to Kraninger’s role in Trump’s family separation immigration policy.

BACKGROUND:

Democratic Senators Are Demanding Answers From Private Prison Contractor GEO Group On The Facilities They Use To Hold Immigrant Detainees Under President Trump’s Immigration Crackdown.

Democratic Senators Are Pressing GEO Group To Respond To Reports of Deplorable Conditions At Their Immigrant Detention Facilities.

On November 16, 2018, Eleven Democratic Senators Sent Letters To Private Prison Contractors GEO Group And CoreCivic Regarding Federal Detention Standards At Their Immigrant Detention Facilities. “With recent reports raising concerns about mistreatment and unsafe conditions at several for-profit immigration detention centers, U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, pressed private contractors Friday for details on whether they are meeting federal detention standards.” [Shannon Young, “Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey question whether private immigration detention contractors meet federal standards,” Massachusetts Live, 11/16/18]

  • The Senators Pressed The Companies To Respond To A Recent Report That Some “Immigrant Detention Facilities Had Spoiled And Moldy Food,” Lacked Hygienic Facilities, And A Hosted Litany Of Other Problems. The Senators “pressed [the] private contractors […] for details on whether they are meeting federal detention standards […] [and] […] pointed to Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General reviews that they said found ‘immigrant detention facilities had spoiled and moldy food, that detainees did not have access to hot water, some showers lacked cold water, detainees had limited access to prompt and adequate medical care and that detainees were not promptly given (or not given at all) basic hygiene products such as toilet paper and toothpaste.'” [Shannon Young, “Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey question whether private immigration detention contractors meet federal standards,” Massachusetts Live, 11/16/18]
  • “Warren was joined in the letters to the contractors by fellow Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden (Ore.), Kamala Harris (Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Ed Markey (Mass.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Tom Udall (N.M.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.) and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders(Vt.).” [Rafael Bernal, “Warren, 2020 Dems target private immigration detention center operators,” The Hill, 11/16/18]

GEO Group Has Received “Over $4 Billion From Federal Contracts In The Last Decade, Including $560 Million In Just The Last Two Fiscal Years.” “[…]GEO Group and its subsidiaries have received over $4 billion from federal contracts in the last decade, including $560 million in just the last two fiscal years, the senators contended.” [Shannon Young, “Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey question whether private immigration detention contractors meet federal standards,” Massachusetts Live, 11/16/18]

In February 2018, Kathy Kraninger Met With GEO Group And Numerous Federal Immigration Officials.

Kathy Kraninger Met With Private Prison Company GEO Group In February 2018…

On February 21, 2018, Kathy Kraninger Met With Adam M. Hasner. [US Office of Management and Budget WAVES Records Release, US Office of Management and Budget, February 2018]

  • GEO Group Has said It Expected To Benefit From The Trump Administration’s Crackdown On Illegal Immigration. “Geo has said it expects to benefit from the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration, but many beds have remained idle. As of January, Geo said it has a new contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for a 780-bed processing center in Folkston, Ga.” [Marcia Heroux Pounds, “Boca-based prison operator Geo’s 2017 revenues up 4 percent, earnings dip,” Sun-Sentinel, 02/14/18]

That Same Month, Kathy Kraninger met with several officials from ICE and US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

On February 27, 2018, Kathy Kraninger Met With James W. Mccament. [US Office of Management and Budget WAVES Records Release, US Office of Management and Budget, February 2018]

  • James W. Mccament Appears To Be The Deputy Director For US Citizenship And Immigration Services. [James W. McCament Profile, LinekdIn, accessed 06/19/18]

On February 27, 2018, Kathy Kraninger Met With Philip T. Miller. [US Office of Management and Budget WAVES Records Release, US Office of Management and Budget, February 2018]

On February 27, 2018, Kathy Kraninger Met With Tracy L. Renaud. [US Office of Management and Budget WAVES Records Release, US Office of Management and Budget, February 2018]

  • Tracy Renaud Was Then The Acting Deputy Director Of US Citizenship And Immigration Services. “Tracy Renaud is the acting USCIS deputy director, a position she also held from January to October 2017. She has been the permanent associate director of the Management Directorate since Nov. 2, 2014.” [Tracy Renaud, Acting Deputy Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, US Citizen and Immigration Services, accessed 06/19/18]

On February 27, 2018, Kathy Kraninger Met With Neal J. Swartz. [US Office of Management and Budget WAVES Records Release, US Office of Management and Budget, February 2018]

  • Swartz currently describes himself as “Associate General Counsel for General Law, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” [Profile For Neal Swartz, LinkedIn, accessed 11/19/18]

Six Weeks After Kraninger Met With GEO Group And The Federal Immigration Officials, The Trump Administration Announced Its “Zero Tolerance” Immigration Policy.

In Early April 2018, The Trump Administration Announced Its “Zero Tolerance” Policy On Illegal Immigration, Which Led To Family Separations.

On April 6, 2018, The Department of Justice Announced Its New “Zero Tolerance” Policy on Illegal Immigration. [Press Release, “Attorney General Announces Zero-Tolerance Policy for Criminal Illegal Entry,” US Department of Justice, 04/06/18]

  • Family Separations Began “After Attorney General Jeff Sessions Announced A New ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policy Of Referring All Border Crossings For Federal Criminal Prosecution.” “The family separations began [in 2018] after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new ‘zero tolerance’ policy of referring all border crossings for federal criminal prosecution, which leads to children being separated as their parents are sent to jail.” [Maya Rhodan, “Here Are the Facts About President Trump’s Family Separation Policy,” Time, 06/20/18]

Experts Have Said Kathy Kraninger’s Fingerprints Are Likely All Over The Trump Administration’s Family Separation Policy.

Kathy Kraninger’s Fingerprints Are Likely All Over the Trump Administration’s Family Separation Policy. “Kathy Kraninger, the nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, likely was deeply involved in President Trump’s ‘zero-tolerance’ immigration policy, according to former officials with the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Homeland Security.” [Kate Berry, “CFPB nominee likely connected to Trump’s ‘zero-tolerance’ immigration policy,“ American Banker, 06/19/18]

At OMB, Kathy Kraninger Worked on President Trump’s 2019 Budget, Which Increased Funding for Immigrant Detention Facilities. Kathy Kraninger is listed as one of the “OMB Contributors To The 2019 Budget.” [EFFICIENT, EFFECTIVE, ACCOUNTABLE AN AMERICAN BUDGET, Office of Management and Budget]

But Kraninger Has Refused To Explain Her Work On Immigration Policy To The American People.

Kathy Kraninger Has Refused To Reveal Any Details About Her Work On Trump’s Immigration Policy To The American People.

Kathy Kraninger Told the Senate She Has No Authority to Produce Documents Concerning Her Role in Trump’s “Zero-Tolerance” Immigration Policy. When asked to produce documents related to her role in the “Zero-Tolerance Policy,” Kathy Kraninger said, “[a]ny such documents would not belong to me, and, as a result, I would not have the authority to produce any such documents if they existed.” [“Questions for Ms. Kathleen Laura Kraninger,” US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, 07/19/18]

  • Senate Democrats Asked For Documents On Kraninger’s Tenure At OMB In June And Received Nothing In Advance Of Her Confirmation Hearing Before The Senate Banking Committee. “ Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., called on Crapo to postpone the panel’s vote on Kraninger’s nomination until the administration provided documents on the nominee’s involvement with the policy that led to thousands of children being separated from their parents at the southern border.” [Neil Haggerty, “Panel vote on CFPB nominee delayed as Senate plans recess,” American Banker, 08/01/18]

Allied Progress Has Had to Go to Court to Try to Compel the Trump Administration to Release Records on Kathy Kraninger. [Renae Merle, “Advocacy group sues for CFPB nominee’s work records,” Washington Post, 07/25/18]

# # #

Close

Join The Fight!

We need your help to hold powerful special interests accountable and empower hardworking Americans. Join our fight today!