In the last few months, all publicly known banking partners of the US private prison and immigrant detention leader GEO Group have committed to severing their ties with the industry. The banks’ decision was a major win for campaigners and grassroots activists who have long been working to stop the flow of capital into companies profiting from the destructive combination of mass incarceration in the United States, more aggressive border control policies and increased migration flows exacerbated by climate change.
The survival of private prisons depends on keeping a consistent and increasing number of people incarcerated and today immigrants serve as this predatory industry’s primary cash generators. According to a report by the New York Times, last year, private companies incarcerated about nine percent of the total US prison population, but 73 percent of immigrant detainees.
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