The White House approved a private-prison company to build an immigration detention complex in Conroe, Texas, the Texas Tribune reports.
The GEO Group, a Florida-based company that has in the past faced criticism from immigrant rights groups, announced Thursday that it will build the $110 million facility in the Houston metro area.
“We are very appreciative of the continued confidence placed in our company by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement,” George C. Zoley, GEO’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement.
The detention center, which is expected to generate about $44 million in annual revenue for the firm, comes to no surprise to immigrant rights activists.
“We’re not surprised, but we are deeply disappointed that the administration is not only lining the pockets of the private-prison industry but expanding detention,” said Bob Libal, the executive director for Grassroots Leadership, an immigrant rights and private-prison watchdog group in Austin, Texas.
The GEO Group already has several facilities across the state, from smaller local jails used by the U.S. Marshals Service to larger immigration detention complexes near the U.S.-Mexico border.