Free Speech For People Democracy Honors Fellow, Jasmine Gomez is published today in The Hill, with a new piece explaining why President Trump’s connection to private prisons makes the case for ending Citizens United. 

Gomez writes that even a perceived tie between private prison companies and Trump would threatens our democracy and limits our ability to make necessary immigration reforms.

Despite inhumane conditions in private prisons, President Trump’s administration has announced several orders that benefit specific private prison companies in both the immigration and criminal justice systems, creating the appearance of pay-to-play corruption at the highest level. Congress should immediately begin an investigation but, more importantly, we need to fundamentally change how we finance our elections. Even the appearance of corruption degrades our democracy.

While Ms. Gomez lays out the role big money and political contributions play in our criminal justice system, she also makes the case for the people pushing back.

“Overturning Citizens United won’t fix our immigration policy, criminal justice system, or the detention system overnight. But when we’re up against the wealth and political might of the private prison industry, we need the voices of the people to rise above the wallets of the wealthy.”

Additional information is available via Jasmine Gomez and Pamela Cataldo, of Demo, in a recently published bilingual report, highlighting the link between campaign donations from private prison companies and prison guard unions to new laws that favor private prisons.

To download the report, “Private Prisons and Political Contributions: How Big Money Shackles Immigration Policy” in English and Spanish, click here.