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03/12/2019 | Holding Wall Street Accountable, Immigrant Rights - Creating Deportation Defense

Wells Fargo Divests From Private Prisons & Immigrant Detention Industry

On March 12, Wells Fargo’s CEO told Congress that the bank is exiting the private prison industry! Over the past two years, immigrant organizations and allies participating in the Corporate Backers of Hate campaign have been working to expose the Wall Street companies that enable Trump’s aggressive anti-immigrant agenda, and pressuring these banks to stop financing private prison and deportation companies.

This victory is the result of two years of sustained organizing led by immigrant families, and comes days after JPMorgan Chase announced its decision to stop funding private prisons and immigrant detention companies. This was the first major bank to make such an announcement, marking a potential turning point in the fight against the industry that cages humans for profit.

When JPMorgan made its announcement, we celebrated, and then we got back to work ramping up the pressure on Wells Fargo and other banks to do the same. And it worked!

In a Congressional hearing earlier this week, Wells Fargo CEO Timothy Sloan told House Financial Services Committee member Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that it is ending its relationship with both GEO Group and Core Civic, the largest private prison corporations in the country. Private prison companies have relied on debt financing from Wall Street to sustain their day-to-day operations and facilitate their rapid expansion under Trump.

 Following this important victory, we will continue to hold JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo accountable and work to ensure that all banks cut ties from this morally bankrupt industry.

 These victories are only possible because people across the country showed up for each other, organized together, and forced these major Wall Street firms to reckon with the human impact of their financing practices.

 We are so proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with the CPD affiliates whose members have led this fight with courage and determination, including Make the Road NY-NJ-PA-CT-NV, New York Communities for Change, CUFFH and Action NC. We are immensely grateful for the leadership of allied organizations that threw down to make these victories possible, including MomsRising, Freedom To Thrive (Enlace), Hand in Hand, JFREJ, CREDO, National Domestic Workers Alliance, LittleSis, In the Public Interest, Presente.org, Rainforest Action Network, Workmen’s Circle, the Candide Group and the entire #FamiliesBelongTogether coalition. We also deeply appreciate and recognize the Forego Wells Coalition (including ACRE, the Committee for Better Banks, and ACCE), who has been working to hold Wells Fargo to a higher standard of responsibility to workers and communities for years.

CPD Executive Director, Ana María Archila, and Make the Road New York Executive Director,  Javier H. Valdés said it perfectly in The Nation last week: “By continuing to take on both the public and private sources of funding, we can put this morally bankrupt industry out of business once and for all.” Together, we have made clear that private prisons and their financial backers positioned themselves to gain from Trump’s immigration crackdown.

And together, we will continue to fight to hold Wall Street accountable, keep our families together, and ensure we all have the freedom to thrive. Can we count on you to join us? Make a donation today to support this vital work.