In the Stewart Detention Center in rural Lumpkin, Georgia, Pedro Guzman cleaned the communal areas, cooked, painted walls, ran paperwork and buffed floors. But Guzman was not brought into Stewart as an employee - he was a detained immigrant taking part in the detention center's "voluntary" work program.
"I didn't go more than a month without a job," said Guzman, who spent almost 20 months waiting, and working, inside Stewart while his immigration case was resolved.
In private prisons around the country, immigrants languishing in detention centers are being put to work by profit-making companies like the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) for far below the minimum wage. For doing a range of manual labor in the facility, the immigrants, many of whom are not legally permitted to work in the United States, are paid between $1-$3 a day.