Campaign Updates

ENLACE-POSTER_outline_campaign11x85The Prison Divestment Campaign began in 2011 from the need to launch a comprehensive strategy to decriminalize immigrants and people of color, end detention, end mass incarceration, and demilitarize the border. It was not only Politicians that we needed to target, but also the For-Profit Prison Industry and Wall Street who were the other powerful force behind mass incarceration, the police state, immigrant detention, and deportation. The Campaign has since become a national movement bringing together Black, Brown, and LGBTQ communities to end mass incarceration and immigration enforcement. The movement is working to divest from criminalization and incarceration, and demand reparations and reinvestment in our communities!

Enlace builds alliances among organizations working on immigrant rights, criminal justice, another social justice groups to end mass incarceration and achieve legalization for all immigrants. For additional information visit Enlace’s webpage

Campaign to End Mass Incarceration, Deportations & Detention

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The Prison Divestment Movement is part of a larger movement called #FreedomCities that is redefining what Safety and Freedom mean for our communities.

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#FamiliesBelongTogether Demands Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase Stop Financing For-Profit Prison Companies Benefiting from Family Separation

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the #FamiliesBelongTogether coalition calls on Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase to stop financing two large for-profit private prison corporations, CoreCivic and GEO Group, which operate immigration detention centers where separated families are being held against their will. Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase are leading financiers of CoreCivic and GEO Group.

More than 70 organizations, including the ACLU, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, MomsRising, MoveOn, In The Public Interest, Little Sis, ACRE, Color of Change, Make the Road New York, AVAAZ, Enlace, Presente.org, the Center for Popular Democracy, and more, are demanding that Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase stop financing these corporations that directly profit from family separation, detention, and incarceration. The petition comes at a crucial time when the population of immigrants held in private detention centers is expected to increase dramatically due to Trump’s harmful policies.

Cutting off the debt financing from banks would make it harder for CoreCivic and GEO Group to conduct day-to-day business operations, finance new facilities, and acquire smaller companies, all of which hurt immigrant families. An analysis of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings over the past ten years shows that Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase has played a leading role in financing these debts. JPMorgan Chase is the single largest financier to GEO Group and CoreCivic, holding 62 percent more debt than the second biggest lender to these two corporations.

“The Prison Industry Lobby is fueled by Wall Street and banks like Chase and Wells Fargo. This lobby has been successful thanks to these banks and REIT status in kidnapping people from our community and profiting from our communities pain. We are building Freedom Cities to demand cities and local institutions cut ties with these banks and invest in alternatives like municipal banks. Freedom Cities are building visionary campaigns for immigrants and communities of color, together we fight for our collective liberation,” said Daniel Carrillo, Enlace Executive Director.

SIGN THE PETITION

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40% vacancy: Feds release illegal immigrant families instead of filling detention centers

Via Washington Times | Stephen Dinan

Barracks for law enforcement trainees in New Mexico, has been converted into a 672-bed detention center for illegal immigrant families. (Associated Press/File)

The government pays for thousands of detention beds for illegal immigrant families, but nearly 40 percent of them were sitting unused in late June, even as the Department of Homeland Security was rushing to release parents and children into communities.

The empty beds were revealed in court documents late last month. Lawyers who monitor U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s facilities said two major facilities were running well below capacity.

Although the beds were empty, the government was still paying for them.

VICTORY: DiNapoli divests N.Y. pension funds from private prison companies

Via NY Daily News | Kenneth Lovett

EXCLUSIVE: DiNapoli divests N.Y. pension funds from private prison companies
New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli drew praise from pro-immigrant groups for his decision. (Mike Groll / AP)

ALBANY — State Controller Thomas DiNapoli this week took the rare step of divesting all direct state pension fund holdings in private prison companies.

The move comes amid concerns about President Trump’s stepped up immigration detainment policies.

“For nearly two decades, the fund has recognized private prisons is a controversial industry and restricted investments,” said DiNapoli spokeswoman Jennifer Freeman. “The current immigration situation is creating even more risks in their business model, which has consequences for their long term value.”

 

The state controller’s office since 1999 has restricted state pension fund investments in private prisons, which are barred in New York. DiNapoli updated the list of companies subjected to the restrictions in 2016.

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Nashville Councilmember Proposes Divesting From Private Prisons

Via Nashville Scene | Stephen Elliot

At-Large Metro Councilmember Erica Gilmore, taking a cue from cities including New York and Cincinnati, wants Nashville’s pension fund to divest from private prisons — specifically its nearly $1 million investment in Nashville-based company CoreCivic.

Gilmore’s newly filed resolution, if passed, would request that the Metropolitan Employee Benefit Board’s investment committee sell off its CoreCivic stake. Gilmore writes in the resolution that it is incumbent upon Metro Council members to seek divestment from “entities engaged in ethically dubious — albeit legal — enterprises, including the operation of private prisons.”

“While the operation of private prisons is legal, deriving a profit from the incarceration of others is a morally bankrupt enterprise with which the Metropolitan Government should not be affiliated,” she continues, though she doesn’t mention Metro’s $100 million contract with CoreCivic to run the Metro-Davidson County Detention Facility.

Gilmore tells the Scene that a “group of concerned Nashville residents” brought the divestment idea to her. Citing CoreCivic’s annual revenues, which are north of $1.7 billion, she adds that she does not believe divesting the city’s share will hurt the local company.

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Parent company of UC Berkeley’s official bank invests in ICE-contracted private prison companies

Via The Daily Cal | Sakura Cannestra

BNP Paribas — the parent company of UC Berkeley’s official bank, Bank of the West — owns more than $1 million in shares from two private prison companies that are contracted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, to operate immigration detention facilities.

Both CoreCivic Inc. and the GEO Group Inc. operate various correctional and family residential facilities throughout the United States, and they have a combined total of 24 facilities that are contracted by ICE, including two family residential centers. As of press time, BNP Paribas holds about 19,805 shares in CoreCivic and about 35,506 shares in the GEO Group, according to the Nasdaq.

Camila Elizabet Aguirre-Aguilar, a rising campus senior, originally found the information while searching through the GEO Group’s list of shareholders on the Nasdaq.

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Migrants describe hunger and solitary confinement at for-profit detention center

Via CNN | Bob Ortega 

The 40-year-old mother found herself in solitary confinement, locked in a cell behind a steel door for 23 hours a day, according to her legal filing and attorney.

The woman, identified in court documents only by the initials R.M., was taken into custody in May while crossing the border illegally to seek asylum. She was separated from her teenage daughter. Now, she’s being held at a privately run immigrant detention facility — effectively, a prison — known as the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington.
The facility, which US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said held 1,495 detainees as of June 30, sits within a toxic sludge field and EPA Superfund site where residential construction has been barred. It has been the target of more than a dozen hunger strikes in recent years, each involving from a dozen to hundreds of detainees, over complaints of inadequate food and medical care, among other issues.

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Petition: Wells Fargo – Stop Financing Pain For Corporate Gain!

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Wells Fargo is financing CoreCivic and GEO Group, for-profit prison corporations that are profiting off the pain and separation of families.

Sign on to urge the CEO of Wells Fargo, Timothy Sloan, to stop financing CoreCivic and GEO Group!

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