Many IASJ affiliate institutions have long engaged in ministry work to support immigrant communities by providing access to education, housing, spiritual direction, and legal aid to those in need. This social justice ministry is also deeply connected to our affiliates’ investment portfolio. In our role as investors, we are well positioned to encourage the business community, and specifically corporations in which we are shareholders, to advocate for just immigration policies,to speak out in the face of actions that undermine respect for the human dignity of all people, including immigrant and refugee communities, and to assess how their business activity or government contracts may negatively impact immigrant communities. Immigration has emerged as a priority engagement issue for IASJ and the broader ICCR community due to the uncertainty immigrants face in the current U.S. political environment.
Investor Action to Oppose Family Separation and Detention
IASJ is responding to growing concerns about the corporate role in enabling family separation and detention at the US-Mexico border by engaging companies that have business relationships with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), CBP (Customs and Border Protection), and ORR (Office of Refugee Resettlement).
Sectors engaged: We have initiated engagements with banks, tech companies, consulting companies, and defense contractors to encourage implementation of robust human rights due diligence to assess, identify, prevent, and mitigate human rights risks to migrant children, families, and asylum seekers. We also seek greater transparency about how companies factor human rights risks into the vetting process for federal contracts.
JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America – Ending financing of private prison companies CoreCivic and GEO Group, which operate immigration detention centers
Microsoft – Opposition to cloud services contract with ICE
Amazon – Risks of selling facial recognition technology to governments
Northrop Grumman – Human rights policy implementation/risks of developing biometric database for DHS
General Dynamics – Human rights risks of case management contract with ORR
Accenture – Risks of carrying out contract to hire border patrol agents
We participate actively in ICCR’s working group on immigration and support the work of the Investor Alliance for Human Rights, which published a resource in July 2018 on the business responsibility to respect migrant rights under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, called Guidance on Corporate Human Rights Due Diligence Related to Immigration Detention and Family Separation.
Other Actions on Immigration
We urge companies to assess the risks of business activities to immigrants and refugees within their workforce and supply chains, take steps to protect and support the advancement of those individuals, and to prevent discrimination in hiring, among other issues.
IASJ was a signatory to the following investor letters:
- In February 2018, we signed onto a letter urging action to reinstate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El
Salvador, Haiti, and Nicaragua for another 18 months, and to extend TPS for Syria, Nepal, Honduras, and
the remaining countries for at least another 18 months.
- In February 2017, we joined investors in sending a letter to the representatives of President Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum to use that forum to speak out strongly against the President’s Executive Order restricting entry into the U.S. for refugees, immigrants, and documented residents from selected counties and further urged them to take steps to respect the rights of workers and align corporate policies and practices with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
- In 2013, our Coalition joined a large group of investors in calling for comprehensive immigration reform (see letter here).
Statements from Members: