JPMorgan says it will stop bankrolling private prisons

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JPMorgan Chase – the largest U.S. bank– announced on Tuesday it would stop funding private prison operators, following criticism related to President Trump’s immigration policies.

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“JPMorgan Chase has a robust and well established process to evaluate the sectors that we serve.  As part of this process, we will no longer bank the private prison industry,” a spokesperson for the bank said in an emailed statement to FOX Business.

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JPMorgan was named as one of the banks that lent to CoreCivic and The Geo Group – two private prison managers that had been focal points in the family detention crisis – and have allegedly held immigrant families for crossing the U.S. border.

Wells Fargo was also targeted by activist groups for the funds it provided to the two for-profit prison corporations.

In an open letter written to the pair of banks, the group Families Belong Together, alleged that by financing the private prison industry leaders’ debts, they were “profiting from mass incarceration and the criminalization of immigration.”

In a statement provided to FOX Business, CoreCivic said JPMorgan has served an important role in improving conditions for inmates.

"It is disappointing they will no longer have a role in helping to provide similar solutions for our government partners," a spokesperson for CoreCivic said. "It is further disappointing that decisions like this are being based on false information spread by politically motivated special interests, who completely mischaracterize our company and the meaningful role we play in solving some of our country’s biggest challenges."

CoreCivic insisted that it does not house immigrant children without parental supervision, nor does it enforce immigration policies.

A spokesperson for The Geo Group issued a similar statement, saying the divestment efforts were politically motivated "based on a deliberate mischaracterization" of its role. It also said it never houses unaccompanied minors nor engages in setting immigration policy.

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An order to curtail use of private prisons issued by the Obama administration was overturned by the current president’s staff, not long into his tenure.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon – the head of the Business Roundtable – called for immigration reform in his annual letter to shareholders last year, which he said at the time was “tearing apart our body politics and damaging our economy.”