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03/5/2019 | Holding Wall Street Accountable, Immigrant Rights - Creating Deportation Defense

Corporate Backers of Hate Moves JPMorgan Chase to Divest from Private Prisons

Today, JPMorgan Chase announced that they will end their practice of financially backing private prison and immigrant detention companies. This victory is the result of significant pressure from immigrants and their families participating in the Corporate Backers of Hate campaign to urge financial institutions to cut their financial ties with Geo Group and CoreCivic, the private prison companies responsible for terrorizing people of color and immigrant communities in pursuit of profit.

Roughly 75 percent of immigrants detained by ICE are held in private detention and, up until today, JPMorgan held more debt in the two main private prison companies (the Geo Group and CoreCivic) than any other lender—62% more debt than the next largest lender.

 Elizabeth Chavez, member of Make the Road New York, said, “Immigrants and trans women like me have stood up to JPMorgan Chase for bankrolling private immigrant detention companies because it’s people like us who face abuse and violence in their cages every day. We have marched to the bank headquarters and branches. We have rallied outside Jamie Dimon’s home. And we will continue to work to put the private prison industry out of business as we fight for respect and dignity for every member of our community.”

 “The country has seen the images of humans in cages and heard the cries of children begging to be reunited with their parents. Our immigration enforcement system is cruel and inhumane. Providing financial backing to this industry is not morally defensible”, said Ana Maria Archila, Co-Executive Director of the Center for Popular Democracy. “Today we are delighted to hear that JPMorgan Chase has decided to listen to our communities and end its harmful practice of financially backing private prisons and immigrant detention centers. This is an incredible victory for immigrant communities and for our society as a whole.”

Rachel Rivera, Board Member of New York Communities for Change, stated “No corporations should profit off the suffering and misery of those at private prisons and detention centers. All banks must end the financing of Geo Group and Core Civic.”

 Since it was launched in 2017, the Corporate Backers of Hate campaign, a project of the Center for Popular Democracy and CPD affiliates Make the Road, Action NC, New York Communities for Change, and allies MomsRising, Freedom to Thrive (previously Enlace), and Hand in Hand, along with other partners, has highlighted how private prisons and their financial backers have positioned themselves to gain from Trump’s immigration crackdown. The campaign has organized powerful direct actions against JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo and has delivered hundreds of thousands of petitions to the banks. Immigrant leaders confronted JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon at the company’s annual shareholder meetings and protested repeatedly outside the company’s headquarters and Dimon’s home. Just last month, Make the Road New York members and allies held a mariachi serenade outside Dimon’s house on Valentine’s Day, asking the bank to break up with private prisons. In July 2018, immigrant New Yorkers and allies protested outside of Dimon’s home, and blasted audio gathered by ProPublica of immigrant children crying out for their parents in detention facilities.

In February, after months of pressure from the campaign, Wells Fargo announced it will scale back on its investment in private prisons.

This is a major victory for our communities. It's clear that we can hold corporations accountable for their actions. While there is much to celebrate, we must remain steadfast in our fight to keep families together and ensure our communities have the freedom to thrive. The future of our country depends on bold action from each of us. Support this critical work by making a donation today.