Ocasio-Cortez questions bank funding of prisons that hold immigrants

Register now

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said she wants Wall Street to tell Congress why it’s lending to private prisons that hold undocumented immigrants.

"We’re going to hold oversight hearings to make these banks accountable for investing in and making money off of the detention of immigrants," she said at an event last week in Queens hosted by the nonprofit Make the Road New York. "Because it’s wrong.”

The New York congresswoman was named this year to the House Financial Services Committee. Its chair, Maxine Waters, reached out to the biggest U.S. banks about testifying, Bloomberg reported after Democrats took control of the House last month. It’s not clear if Ocasio-Cortez plans to ask for a separate hearing.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp., the two biggest U.S. banks, are among lenders to GEO Group Inc. and CoreCivic Inc., which run facilities that have held immigrant families.

"People deserve to know who is benefiting from caging children," said Ana Maria Archila, co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy, an advocacy group connected to Make the Road. "Too little is known about the profit motives behind aggressive immigration enforcement."

Bloomberg News