All the money invested in private prison companies has to come from somewhere, you know. Is it any wonder that one of the big players behind for-profit incarceration is a megabank like Wells Fargo?
The advocacy group Small Business United on Thursday called on Wells Fargo to provide a full accounting of investments related to private prisons and immigrant detention centers.
Wells Fargo is one of the largest investors in Geo Group, Inc. — the second largest private prison company in the world contracted by state and federal government agencies. The group spends millions lobbying for stricter immigration enforcement.
Wells Fargo has claimed the investments in the GEO Group were made by Wells Fargo mutual funds on behalf of clients, not investments made by Wells Fargo and Company.
“We demand transparency,” said Marco Reinoso, owner of Superstar Deli for 26 years and resident of Brooklyn. “I pay my fair share of taxes and deserve to know where the dark money trail leads, and whether our money is being used to further anti-immigrant bills that hurt our economy and lead to many in our community being treated with violence and inhumanity in these detention centers.”
And of course stricter immigration enforcement plus state and federal budget cuts across the board means more need for privately-operated immigration detention centers. Amazing how that works. Pushing to lock people up and treat them like cattle to be moved around is profitable on a large enough scale, like say a huge international bank investing in the second largest for-profit prison group in the country. Rights optional, of course.
After spending a month in solitary confinement in a GEO Group operated Texas prison, 32-year-old Jesus Manuel Galindo allegedly died of an epileptic seizure in December 2008. The cell lacked an operational intercom, which would have allowed Galindo — who needed regular medical attention — to call for help. The neurologist who reviewed Galindo’s autopsy said he was “set up to die.”
In another incident, former GEO Group employees working for the Texas Youth Commission failed to report horrid conditions at a GEO-operated prison in Texas. An independent report found the bug-infested prison smelled of feces and urine, had numerous water leaks and racially segregated the young inmates.
It’s a growing field as the One Percenters take a bigger and bigger slice of the pie, leaving more desperate and broken communities and families in their wake. There’s profit to be made off the increase in socioeconomic misery out there, and by God, America is going to lead the way in that industry.
Who says capitalist innovation is dead in America? Not me.