Force Wells Fargo and other #BackersOfHate to stop funding immigrant detention
Wells Fargo is so desperate to reform its scandal-plagued image that it recently resorted to an ad campaign with the tagline: "Established 1852. Re-established 2018."1
Wells Fargo executives probably don't want people to hear that the "re-established" company is currently getting rich off of Trump's heartless policy of separating families and detaining immigrants in private prisons.2
Wall Street banks like JPMorgan Chase, BlackRock and Wells Fargo are heavily invested in awful, private-prison companies and make loans that keep them in business.3 That's why we're teaming up with our friends at Presente and Moms Rising to demand that #BackersOfHate divest and stop funding Trump's racist policies. This Wednesday, I am delivering petition signatures directly to Wells Fargo headquarters in San Francisco to make clear that profiting from the pain of immigrant communities is morally wrong and bad for business. Between CREDO and our allies, we already have more than 100,000 signatures. Will you help us turn up the pressure by adding your name now?
Who wins by putting more and more immigrants in jail? Big banks, that's who. Private prison companies, like CoreCivic and GEO Group, are lucrative businesses don't just enrich investors, they lobby for more punitive policies towards immigrants and citizens alike. Sixty percent of Trump's incarcerated immigrants are held in private prisons built by companies like CoreCivic and GEO Group.4
Trump's policies could grow the multi-billion dollar private-prison industry by more than 580 percent in just one year. No wonder JPMorgan Chase alone has increased its private-prison holdings by a shocking 9,600 percent since Trump took office. Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and BlackRock all hold stock in companies like CoreCivic and GEO Group – and these companies' stock prices have skyrocketed in recent weeks.5
The big banks also keep GEO Group and CoreCivic in business with lucrative loans. Those two companies are set up as real estate investment trusts, which allows them to dodge some taxes but prevents them from holding a lot of cash. That means they can't pay bills without frequent loans – loans that make a lot of money for the banks. In 2017, GEO Group and CoreCivic paid their lenders $217 million.6 All Wells Fargo and others would have to do is stop making these loans, and CoreCivic and GEO Group could no longer afford to keep people in cages.
Force Wells Fargo and other #BackersOfHate to stop funding immigrant detention.
Corporate #BackersOfHate, especially Wells Fargo which is trying to polish its corporate image, need to hear that Americans won't tolerate them overlooking basic morals in the desperate pursuit of profit. They must immediately drop their stock in private prisons and cease offering lending facilities to the companies responsible for carrying out Trump's cruel immigration policies. As the backlash against Trump's immigrant-detention policies grows and Americans take to the streets in protest it's time to turn up the heat on the big banks that profit from hate.
Thank you for speaking out.
- James Peltz, "Wells Fargo launches ad campaign to leave accounts scandal behind. Not everyone is buying it," The Los Angeles Times, May 9, 2018.
- Make the Road New York and Center for Popular Democracy, "Private Detention Industry Expected to Swell from 'Zero Tolerance; at the Border," June 26, 2018.