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Educators and public employees across California are demanding the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) divest from for-profit prison companies CoreCivic and GEO Group.
CalPERS is investing pensioners’ money in companies that are profiting off of policies designed to inflict grave harm and lasting trauma on children and families fleeing horrific violence and persecution. The separation, detention, and deportation of refugees and asylum seekers – to countries where they face serious threats to their life and freedom – violates fundamental human rights enshrined in international law. CoreCivic and GEO Group were already implicated in the mass incarceration of Americans – primarily people of color – and now profit from the indefinite detention of migrant families and asylum seekers through contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Continuing to invest in CoreCivic and GEO Group knowing that these companies may be guilty of aiding and abetting crimes against humanity makes CalSTRS and CalPERS complicit.
While other pension funds across the country have divested from CoreCivic and GEO Group in response to the companies’ pattern of human rights abuses and the risk such conduct poses to pensioners’ investment return, CalPERS has yet to take action.
On November 7, 2018 the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) announced that they would divest from the prison industry. We call on CalPERS to immediately do the same.
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