The US immigration detention system is the world’s largest and part of a for-profit prison industry.
“We’ve commodified human displacement,” said David Taylor, who has used drones to take aerial photography and video of 28 privately run Ice detention centers near the US southern border, in California, Arizona and Texas.
While accounts of abuse and exploitation from inside facilities appear in the news media, the detention centers are usually in isolated, underpopulated areas with access to photographers or film crews tightly controlled.
Between 2015 and 2018, as the administration began to ramp up its crackdown on immigrants, the targeted average daily population of detained immigrants grew 50%. Corporations won contracts from ICE worth hundreds of millions of dollars.