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

Following Pressure from Advocates, JPMorgan Chase Stops Financially Backing Private Prisons

The move demonstrates growing public pressure to curb private prisons and immigrant detention centers

03.05.2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Media Contact:
Lia Weintraub, lweintraub@populardemocracy.org, 202-618-2482
Inarú Meléndez,
imelendez@populardemocracy.org, 413-331-9530
Yatziri Tovar, yatziri.tovar@maketheroadny.org, 917-771-2818

NEW YORK, NY – Today, JPMorgan Chase announced that they will end their practice of financially backing private prison and immigrant detention companies. The move comes after significant pressure from immigrant advocates 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 Make the Road, the Center for Popular Democracy, Action NC, New York Communities for Change, 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.

To request interviews, contact Inarú Meléndez at imelendez@populardemocracy.org or Yatziri Tovar at yatziri.tovar@maketheroadny.org.

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www.populardemocracy.org

The Center for Popular Democracy is a natnional network of more than 50 community organizations dedicated to achieving racial and economic justice through local grassroots organizing. CPD trains and supports leadership, staff, and members to grow base-building organizations to scale and leverage that strength to win cutting-edge policy victories at the federal, state and local level.

 
Tuesday, March 5, 2019