A local grassroots organization is calling on 8th District Congressman Mike Bishop to return a campaign donation from a company that operates immigration detention centers.

In a press release Thursday, Indivisible Livingston stated Congressman Mike Bishop’s campaign committee, “Mike Bishop for Congress”, received a $7,000 donation from The Geo Group Inc.’s Political Action Committee. The campaign committee reportedly received $6,000 in 2016 and $1,000 in 2018. The Geo Group works with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to operate detention centers holding immigrants. While the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 0.14 percent Wednesday, the Geo Group saw their stocks increase by 1.79 percent. Indivisible Livingston says the company is profiteering from the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the border. Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order halting the practice.

Indivisible Livingston Leader Gretchen Hertz says, “The separation of children and toddlers from their parents is immoral and un-American, and we expect more out of our Congressman. We call on Mike Bishop to immediately return these contributions and personally and forcibly condemn the brutal confinement of children in cages away from their loved ones. Americans are better than this.”

Chris Smith, a Democratic candidate for the 8th Congressional District says, "Mike Bishop's belated statement about the desirability of keeping families together is not an adequate response to the harms being inflicted on children at the border. With respect to the specific injustice of separating families and the hundreds of children still kept away from their parents, the problem is not 'hyper-partisanship' as Bishop claims. The problem is a specific, harmful decision by the Trump administration and the unwillingness of Bishop and his GOP colleagues to carry out the constitutional role of Congress in being a check against the president. Words mean little right now. Bishop needs to take action. Returning PAC money from those who profit from the abusive treatment of children and families would be a small step to show he is doing more than merely saying the words that his advisers tell him to say."

Bishop Campaign Spokesperson Stu Sandler responded to say, “As a father of three, Mike Bishop is on record stating he believes families should stay together while their cases are pending. Mike Bishop has also worked closely with his colleagues, as part of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, to work on immigration reform that would secure the border, close loopholes, and defund sanctuary cities. Indivisible Lansing and Democrats Elissa Slotkin and Chris Smith support making Lansing a sanctuary city and other extreme measures that would make our borders less secure. Geo Group runs hundreds of facilities around the nation including rehabilitation centers, and youth and family services. They give to Democrats and Republicans and gave $10,000 to Nancy Pelosi’s DCCC in December 2017 before the DCCC gave Elissa Slotkin $2,500 in January 2018.”
A request for comment to Slotkin’s campaign has so far gone unreturned. (DK)