Government Solutions Industry Report: Additional Funding for ICE

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Thursday, March 28, 2022

Joe Gomes, Managing Director, Equity Research Analyst, Generalist , Noble Capital Markets, Inc.

Joshua Zoepfel, Research Associate, Noble Capital Markets, Inc.

Refer to the bottom of the report for important disclosures

2024 Budget. The 2024 budget signed by President Biden significantly increases ICE funding, which could have positive implications for both CoreCivic and The GEO Group. The ICE budget increased $798 million to $9.6 billion, including $5.1 billion for ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations, a $900 million increase, according to the Homeland Security Fiscal 2024 bill summary. ATD funding increased $27.5 million to $470.2 million.

Additional Beds. Detention beds increased to 41,500 from 34,000 in fiscal 2023. We would note, the number of people detained by ICE has exceeded the 34,000 funding amount since mid-August and was 39,111 as of March 10th. At a minimum, the new budget enables ICE to increase detainees by approximately 3,000 and if the recent past is any indication, the actual number of beds in use could easily top the 41,500 level.

Encounters Still High. The most recent data for Southwest Border Encounters indicated 189,922 people were encountered in February, the second highest level for that month in history. Looking at the first five months of the fiscal year, there were some 1.15 million encounters, an annualized rate of 2.76 million, compared to 2.47 million for all of 2023.

Capacity. Even with the current 39,000 detainee level, there appears to be sufficient bed capacity at existing facilities to absorb the incremental 3,000, if it occurs. However, currently idle CoreCivic and GEO facilities may be in play, based on ICE’s geographic and other needs. We view CoreCivic’s Leavenworth and California City facilities and GEO’s North Lake and D. Ray James facilities as logical options if ICE determines a need for additional facilities.

Implications. While the budget was just signed, we view the increases as an incremental net positive for both CoreCivic and The GEO Group. The increased funding and beds are both positives and if we see another Continuing Resolution in the fall, these elevated numbers will stand until a new budget is passed.

Research reports on companies mentioned in this report are available by clicking below:

CoreCivic (CXW)

The GEO Group (GEO)


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Senior Equity Analyst focusing on Basic Materials & Mining. 20 years of experience in equity research. BA in Business Administration from Westminster College. MBA with a Finance concentration from the University of Missouri. MA in International Affairs from Washington University in St. Louis.
Named WSJ ‘Best on the Street’ Analyst and Forbes/StarMine’s “Best Brokerage Analyst.”
FINRA licenses 7, 24, 63, 87


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