CoreCivic, GEO Group, and MVM Inc. are private companies that help ICE detain migrants as they attempt to enter the United States. MVM Inc. is based in Ashburn, Virginia. It was founded in 1979 by former U.S. Secret Service agents Dario Marquez, Charles Vance, and Bill Mattman.
What it does:
- Operates ad hoc detention centers inside their offices
- Transports prisoners for DHS on planes and buses
- Provides unarmed security for ICE and DHS jails and internment camps
- Conducts classified research and translation services for secret CIA interrogation facilities.
- (NEW) Partner in Guantanamo Migrant Center secret project $32M contract
MVM currently holds multiple multimillion-dollar contracts with multiple US government agencies, including the Justice Department, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), State Department, United States Marshals Service, the Washington, D.C. Public Schools system, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Sheltering unaccompanied minors is now a billion dollar enterprise. MVM has a security contract worth more than $213 million.
During the summer of 2018 MVM accepted tens of millions of dollars in contracts from the Trump administration's Department of Homeland Security (DHS) during the obscene family separation policy, helping to transport children who were separated from their families and flown to detention facilities across the country.
Today it employs 2,500 people, operates in 70 countries and all 50 US states, and is the main contractor tasked by the federal government to transport migrants to privately run detention facilities, including a planned facility in Guantanamo. It's possible to track what they are doing through Indeed and Glassdoor job postings. Right now they are looking for a Bilingual Youth Travel Care Worker.
"Working at MVM, Inc. takes a certain kind of person...to...Provide humble care and service to unaccompanied children and teens, while you are accompanying them on domestic flights and via ground transportation to shelters all over the country."
Corporations are not people, even though they are run by people. While the founder of MVM seems to care a lot about the Democratic party, in terms of making large campaign donations to elect Dems, the corporation itself is driven by profits, and it has profited enormously from the Iraq War and the war on terror. Now it is pivoting to get its share of a lucrative new pie. OpenSecrets.org estimates that the federal government has spent $4 billion since October 2016 — the start of 2017 fiscal year — on contracts and grants to prevent immigrants from seeking asylum or undocumented access to the U.S. job market, while ICE works on deporting all undocumented migrants it can catch.
MVM's executive ties to Virginia Democrats
The Win Virginia PAC makes significant contributions to Democratic candidates and their PACs, the Democratic party and state house and senate caucuses. MVM's co-founder and current Chairman Dario Marquez and his wife Wendy Marquez have served on the board of Win Virginia as well as contributed to Win Virginia's coffers. Dario Marquez and his wife have also served on the board of WinDem, a PAC formed in 2017 to support the Virginia Blue Wave. As reported in the article below, "Which Politicians are Taking Money from Immigrant Detention Profiteers?" Senator Tim Kaine has received $46,340 from Marquez. Marquez primarily gives to Democrats, but he also gives to the occasional Republican like former delegate Tag Greason.
Win Virginia reached out to a couple of people saying that Dario Marzquez and his wife were "past" members of their board and chose to sit out the 2018 and 2019 election cycles. They also stated that "neither Win Virginia, nor any member past or present, support the kind of abuses we have been hearing about most recently." The Internet Archive's wayback machine, however, captured WinVirginia's leadership page in November 2018, and at that time Dario and Wendy were shown as board members. Win Virginia should clarify to whether the website simply wasn't updated in 2018 to reflect that they were not on the board, or publish the date that they stepped down from the board. Most curiously, WinDem, a "sister PAC" also had them on WinDem.org's board member page but purged them from the page just in the past week (see screenshots above). The live page shows 9 board members, but their counter by the icon of board members still shows 11. Was that page also not kept up to date, or have they just stepped down?
Dario Marquez, Chairman of the Board
Listed as a board member of Win Virginia and WinDem.org (Marquez was recently removed from both websites likely due to press scrutiny of MVM's role in implementing Trump brutal anti-immigrant policies.) His 2018 contributions: $25K to Northam's inaugural, $7K to Saslaw. His 2017 contributions: $193K to Win Virginia PAC, Perriello, Herring, and Northam campaigns. (Source: VPAP.ORG)
Which Politicians are Taking Money from Immigrant Detention Profiteers? July 2018 investigative piece from researchers at Littlesis.org
‘Zero-tolerance’ immigration policy is big money for contractors, nonprofits (Open Secrets, June 21, 2019)
Looks Like Trump Is Planning to Ship Detained Kids to Gitmo. (June 30, 2019, Daily Kos)
Dems Oppose Private Prisons But Take Cash From the Industry (The Young Turks Investigative Team. June 2018
Defense Contractors Cashing In On Immigrant Kids’ Detention (The Daily Beast, June 2018)
Here’s how the most controversial job of 2018 is being advertised (Quartz, December 2018)
Below the Surface of ICE: The Corporations Profiting From Immigrant Detention (Today's Workplace, June 2019)
Exclusive: Immigrant kids held in second Phoenix office seen bathing in sinks (NOTE: An MVM office) (Reveal Investigative Report, July 2018)
Profile of Success: Dario Marquez July 2010
Bloomberg profile of MVM