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Latino Daily News

Tuesday October 18, 2011

Immigrants Protest Against Wells Fargo for Donating Millions to Anti-Immigrant Politicians

Immigrants Protest Against Wells Fargo for Donating Millions to Anti-Immigrant Politicians

Photo: Immigrants Protest Against Wells Fargo for Donating Millions to Anti-Immigrant Politicians

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In Minnesota, Hispanic and Somali immigrants have organized in a protest against Wells Fargo angry that the bank has donated to anti-immigration politicians like Michele Bachmann and Lamar Smith and private prison corporations.

Protestors gathered outside a Wells Fargo branch in Minneapolis Saturday to demand the bank no longer donate to politicians they say are working against immigrants, especially while the bank works to court immigrant customers with Spanish-language ads and programs to educate Latino customers about banking.

Using its mutual funds, Wells Fargo large amounts of money into GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America – two of the U.S.’s largest for-profit detention centers. Each year, GEO and CCA both donate money to lobby for stricter immigration enforcement and make it much harder to legally enter the U.S.

Secretary-treasurer of Service Employees International Union Local 26 Greg Nammacher, who helped organize the protest, told the Huffington Post, “On the one hand, Wells Fargo is launching coordinated ad campaigns around the country to recruit scores of new immigrant customers, [while] on the other hand, they’re financing the criminalization of immigrants through both support of anti-immigrant politicians and investing in companies like [Corrections Corporation of America].”

Claims against both prison companies have stated that they have allowed inmates to be mistreated by guards and other workers.

A third company, the Management and Training Corporation, also receives money from Wells Fargo. The company’s own documents have revealed it only cares about its bottom line when determining which politicians and pieces of legislation to back.

In Management and Training Corporation’s 2010 annual report, it that “the relaxation of enforcement efforts” could severely reduce the demand for their services.

Nammacher said, “The immigrant community has no intention of standing by while Wells Fargo finances their own demise using their own deposits. Companies like Wells Fargo that are entrenched in our broken immigration system, they’re either going to be a part of propagating the problem or they’ll be responsible and divest from anti-immigrant corporations and politicians.”