January 24, 2012 – MEDIA ADVISORY | Contact: Daniel Carrillo, Enlace 323-514-4048
Protests against Fidelity & Wells Fargo for their Role in Immigrant Detention
What: Protestors across the country will converge on January 24, 2012, in 15 major cities on branches of Wells Fargo Bank, and FMR/Fidelity to demand that they abandon their roles in the nation’s rapidly expanding for-profit immigrant detention system.
Actions are being planning in:
- Tacoma, WA
- Olympia, WA
- Portland, OR
- Los Angeles, CA
- San Francisco, CA
- Austin, TX
- Denver, CO
- Salt Lake City, UT
- Nashville, TN
- Hempstead, NY
- Washington DC
- Atlanta, GA
- Boca Raton, FL
- Boston, MA
- Rochester, NY
Why: Over the past three years, hundreds of thousands of non-criminal immigrants have been subjected to excessively abusive treatment in for-profit prisons run for the federal government by the Geo Group (GEO) and Corrections of America (CCA). These big financial institutions are major investors in CCA and GEO, the nation’s two largest for-profit companies. Enlace is coordinating the Prison Divestment Campaign that is asking institutions, public and private, to divest and cut all political ties from the prison industry.
For-profit prison companies, which rely on billions of tax dollars as their primary source of revenue, have successfully lobbied federal and state governments to adopt and implement policies that have led to the incarceration of over one million immigrants over the past three years. Recent reports by the Houston Chronicle and PBS showed that rape and sexual abuse of detainees is rampant across the increasingly privatized federal immigrant detention system.
Wells Fargo, a recipient of billions of bailout dollars, is a major contributor to politicians who have championed the increased incarceration of immigrants. Wells Fargo has also played a key role supporting GEO business ventures.
Enlace Executive Director, Peter Cervantes-Gautschi, stated “The United Methodist Church divested its entire holdings from CCA and GEO; these investors should follow the UMC’s responsible investment example. It is immoral to make $ millions from putting human beings in cages.” The UMC Pension is one of the largest faith-based pension funds in the United States and ranks among the top 100 pension funds in the country. Prominent hedge fund, Pershing Square Management Fund, divested its over $180 million in CCA holdings after the launch of the Prison Divestment Campaign last year.
Since the divestment campaign began on May 12, 2011. CCA’s stock value dropped from $26.02 to $20.67, a 21% drop at year’s end. Geo Group stock has taken a similar plunge, from a high of $26.12 on May 12 to $16.75 on December 31, a drop of over 34%. The campaign has hammered steadily at Geo through one of its major investors, Wells Fargo.
End the Deportations and the Raids! Legalization Now!
Free All Immigrants in Detention! Abolish All Prisons!
In October 2011 campaign partners around the US participated in “Occupy Wall Street” actions, highlighting the role of for-profit prison industry and its investors (including Wells Fargo and Bank of America) in the proliferation of anti-immigrant laws and policies. Arizona-style laws have filled detention centers, increasing profits to these corporations at the cost of human misery.
The Private Prison Divestment Campaign brings to light the connections between Wall Street, Immigration, and the prison industrial complex. The Campaign is forming new strategic alliances and exposing Wall Street as the problem so that we can shift the immigration debate.
Enlace’s research has exposed Wall Street for its involvement in the Mexico economic crisis of the 1990’s (which caused the current massive wave of immigration) and the current US and global financial crisis. You can click here to read an article by Peter Cervantes-Gautschi titled “Wall Street and Immigration: Financial Services Giants Have Profited from the Beginning”, this piece exposes Wall Street as the main culprit in the Mexican financial crisis. You can also read Mr. Cervantes-Gautschi’s article “Wall Street and the Criminalization of Immigrants” published last year on the growing role of Wall Street financial institutions and big banks in anti-immigrant laws and policies. For more tools connecting Wall Street and Immigration, please contact Daniel Carrillo at Daniel@enlaceintl.org or 213-284-3802.
The Prison Divestment Campaign launched a National Month of Action in October 2011, culminating in a National Day of Action on October 29th. Actions took place in the:
Arizona– Tucson November 1st
Florida-Miami November 1st & 5th
Kansas– Wichita October 29th & 31st
Minnesota– Minneapolis October 15th
New York– Long Island October 29th
-Manhattan October 29th
Oregon– Portland October 29th
Texas- Austin November 5th
Washington- Seattle October 29th
More information will be posted soon about details of the actions. For more information please contact Daniel at email@example.com or 213-284-3802.
The National Prison Industry Divestment Campaign is working to expose the profiteering of Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and the GEO Group, the biggest private prison companies in the US, who are making millions off the separation and incarceration of immigrants and communities of color at the expense of our tax dollars. We are calling on all prison shareholders to divest from the prison industry. End the deportations and the raids! Abolish All Prisons! Legalization Now!
For more information please contact Enlace at firstname.lastname@example.org or 213-284-3802.
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