Via Huffington Post | By Eli S McCarthy
Dreamer Juan Gomez came to the U.S. from Colombia in 1990 at the age of 2 years old. He became an academic star at Killian High School in Miami. During his senior year in 2007, he was placed in deportation proceedings. Yet, the student body president and others organized to save Juan. They persuaded Rep. Diaz-Balart (R-FL) to help introduce a bill to stop the deportation. His case was stayed, and he went to Georgetown University that led to a job at a top financial services firm in New York. However, only the Dream Act will give him and nearly 800,000 other Dreamers a permanent and just solution.
Therefore, Dreamers, immigrant worker groups and interfaith advocacy leaders have initiated a bank boycott campaign to help pass the Dream Act for immigrant youth, who entered the U.S. as children and only know the U.S. as their home. Organizations such as the U.S. Catholic conference of religious men’s leaders (CMSM), the Franciscan Action Network, Interfaith Worker Justice, Enlace, and NAKASEC (Korean Dreamers), etc. are driving this campaign. This campaign serves as a key complement to increase and make more effective our leverage on Congress, along with many other more common advocacy tactics.
The boycott is focused on Wells Fargo and Bank of America, which are two of the main funders and profiteers of private prisons, such as GEO and CoreCivic. In turn, Wells Fargo and Bank of America directly enable the detention of immigrants and families as well as an expanding market for such private prisons and detentions. Thus, they are profiting from the rapid increase in detention of immigrants, which includes the increase enabled by ending the DACA program for Dreamers. These banks are also two of the largest banks making direct contributions to key politicians, such as President Donald Trump, Rep. Paul Ryan, Sen. McConnell, Sen. Rubio, Sen. Collins, Sen. Heitkamp, Sen. Manchin, Sen. Hatch, Rep. McCaul, Rep. McCarthy, Rep. Goodlatte, Rep. Peter King, Rep. McSally, Rep. J. Carter, Rep. Katko, and Rep. Walters, etc. who create relevant policy or are key decision-makers for the Dream Act. Some of these politicians hold shares in these banks, while Trump companies have gotten over $1.2 billion in loans from Wells Fargo.
We will continue this boycott at least until President Trump and Congress pass the Dream Act. If there is not such a commitment by December 15, 2017, we will scale-up and broaden our boycott efforts. Organizations and individuals can participate in this boycott in various ways. Sign up here to see these options and so we can track our impact.
It us urgent and just for Congress to act now to pass a clean Dream Act for the good of our country, our economy, and our humanity.