The Border-Industrial Complex Feeding Trough

The border-industrial complex may not do so well at stopping illegal immigrants or illegal drugs from entering America, but it appears to have done an impressive job in jacking up government spending and making sure much of that loot is distributed to select companies.That should not be surprising. After all, the much larger military-industrial complex, which includes some of the same companies, is behind serial United States military intervening overseas and ongoing building of more weapons — activities that tend not to defend the American people but do advance the bottom lines of military contractors.In a new article titled “The Border Industrial Complex Goes Big Time,” The Border Chronicle Editor Todd Miller provided some details on the amount of and growth in US government spending on contracts with companies for border related activities. Miller wrote:

It turns out that 2022 was by far the biggest year for [US Customs and Border Protection (CBP)] and [US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)] contracts, at $7.5 billion. This was over a billion dollars more than the previous record in 2020 ($6.2 billion) and up from 2021 ($6.02 billion). Generally, this follows a trend of a steady growth of contracts since 2014. Since 2008, CBP and ICE have issued 112,575 contracts for a total of $69.6 billion.

And many companies that have benefited from the payouts, Miller further related in his article, spent much on lobbying and campaign contributions. As with military contractors, such spending by border contractors can produce very good returns.