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05/3/2019 | Holding Wall Street Accountable

The Banks Still Financing Private Prisons

On April 9, In the Public Interest, the Public Accountability Initiative, and CPD jointly published a data brief The Wall Street Banks Still Financing Private Prisons. The first comprehensive data of this type released in the last two years, the brief highlights the major Wall Street banks that finance the multibillion-dollar private prison companies: CoreCivic and GEO Group. The brief reveals that Wall Street banks provide over $2.6 billion in credit and loans, making them complicit in the Trump administration’s hateful anti-immigrant agenda. Nearly 75% of immigrants detained are held in private prisons whose stock prices have soared against the backdrop of Trump’s zero tolerance and family separation policies. Read the full data brief here.

Since Trump’s election, immigrant rights advocates have joined forces under the banners of #FamiliesBelongTogether and #BackersOfHate to urge Wall Street banks to cut their financial ties with Geo Group and CoreCivic. After years of coordinated action, shareholder resolutions, and mounting public pressure, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo agreed to sever ties with the private prison industry in March 2019. On the heels of that victory, the data brief highlighted that other Wall Street banks who are still financing private prisons. Bank of America is the only top six US bank that is currently lending to private prison companies and has not committed to ending its financing relationships with the industry. In addition to its long-standing financing of private prison companies, Bank of America has developed a close relationship with Caliburn, a new corporate conglomerate that is the only for-profit entity running migrant children detention facilities.

The data brief was released in advance of an April 10 US House Committee on Financial Services hearing on holding megabanks accountable. Immigrant rights advocates from CASA in Action, Moms Rising, Families Belong Together, and CPD attended the hearing, then rallied in front of SunTrust and across from Bank of America—two of the banks profiled in the data brief with significant financing relationships—to demand that they stop these practices.

We have proven that together we can stop this. Make a donation to support this campaign and tell Bank of America to stop financing for-profit immigrant detention centers. Let’s shine a light on this complicity, and let’s put a stop to it.