GEO Group Donated to the Trump-Tied Turning Point USA, Then Got Rave Review - 2019-06-24
Right-wing student organization Turning Point USA (TPUSA) accepted $50,000 from the foundation of the nation's largest private prison company in 2017, a Sludge investigation of tax documents has found. The GEO Group Foundation gave two donations of $25,000 on March 24 and October 23, each listed as "part of (its) annual contribution."
GEO Group rakes in hundreds of millions of dollars each year in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) contracts, which have increased sharply under President Donald Trump's harsh immigration policies. TPUSA, which openly supports Trump and regularly has Trump administration officials and family members, such as Mike Pence and Donald Trump Jr., speak at its events, frequently sides with ICE, the division of the Department of Homeland Security that detains undocumented immigrants and contracts with private prison giants including GEO Group and CoreCivic. TPUSA Pres. Charlie Kirk often tweets in favor of ICE.
TPUSA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded by Charlie Kirk in 2012 to "identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of freedom, free markets, and limited government." The group bills itself as a "grassroots activist network," yet it receives funding from Republican politicians and GOP megadonors, including Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.), Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, former Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, and shipping supplies magnate Richard Uihlein.