Texas Group Calls for Wells Fargo to Divest From Private Prison Corporation GEO Group

Coalition Calls for Wells Fargo to Stop Profiting From the Private Immigration Detention Industry & End its Support of the Construction of a New Texas Detention Center

Austin, Texas – Austin-based coalition Texans United for Families will join community and labor groups in thirteen major cities nationwide on Friday, July 1st in protests against private detention company investments. Protestors are calling for major investors such as Wells Fargo to divest of their holdings in the private prison industry. Detention of immigrants will cost taxpayers billions of dollars this year only to produce profits for finance industry leaders, like Wells Fargo, that have invested in the growth of the private prison industry.

Wells Fargo currently holds over 3.5 million shares in GEO which is valued at $92 million. “The private prison industry relies on taxpayers for its income and then lobbies for policies that benefit its bottomline,” said Dave Kalloor of Texans United for Families. “Harsh immigrant incarceration policies and new detention centers, like one Karnes County, Texas, are some of the most lucrative policies for GEO and other private prison corporations.”

Participants in the protest will gather outside of the Wells Fargo located on 111 Congress Ave on Friday, July 1st from 12pm-1pm.

The July 1st date was chosen as a statement of solidarity with immigrants, their families and friends in Georgia. On this date the statewide anti-immigrant law, HB 87, will go into effect. Private prison companies such as Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and the GEO Group (of which Wells Fargo is a principal investor), as well as some of their major shareholders, made substantial contributions to politicians involved in passing this damaging legislation.

Wells Fargo’s support of the GEO Group is even more troubling in light of GEO’s history in Texas. GEO’s facilities include prisons, immigration detention centers, and juvenile detention centers where people have suffered from inadequate medical care and unsafe and unsanitary conditions. Deaths, riots, and hunger strikes at GEO’s facilities are indicative of GEO’s culture of cruelty and underscore the need to end construction of new GEO facilities.

GEO is currently constructing a new immigration detention center in Karnes County, Texas. “GEO and Wells Fargo profit from the detention and deportation system that separates families and tears our communities apart. Wells Fargo claims to support community-building and value ethics, yet they are investing in an industry with unethical practices that harm immigrants, people of color, and youth,” said Rocío Villalobos of Texans United for Families.

Texans United for Families, in partnership with community groups and unions across the USA, is calling on all public and private institutions to divest their holdings in the GEO Group and CCA, America’s largest private prison corporations that have profited from billions in taxpayer money. Wells Fargo and others should follow the lead of Pershing Square Capital Management which has already divested its holdings from CCA. Other major investors in the private prison industry include Wellington Management Company, Vanguard, General Electric, Fidelity and others.

Source: email from Bob Libal

By mopress

Writer, Editor, Educator, Lifelong Student

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