Skip to content
CityLab
Economy

A New Divestment Movement Against Trump Gears Up

New York City has pledged to divest its pension holdings from companies involved in the private prison industry. But the ultimate goal is to help build a mass movement against the White House.
Immigration activists in Portland, Oregon, at a protest against Wells Fargo, which has many ties with the private prison industry.
Immigration activists in Portland, Oregon, at a protest against Wells Fargo, which has many ties with the private prison industry. Gosia Wozniacka/AP

On June 8, the GEO group, a prison investment company, issued a press release announcing that the federal prison population is forecast to expand by roughly two percent by 2018, reversing the decarceration trends experienced under President Barack Obama.

GEO attributed the growth to a new budget proposed by Donald Trump’s White House and Attorney General Jeff Sessions that will increase federal prosecution and pursuit of drug dealers and suspected immigrants. The investment company also recently acquired a $110 million contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to build a new 1,000-bed detention facility in Texas. Its share prices have doubled since Trump was elected. In the statement, Canaccord Genuity financial analyst Michael Kodesch observed, “This is an opportunity for private prisons, absolutely.”