As representatives of investors, IASJ recognizes and acknowledges that our country’s economy is rooted in structural racism and was founded on the exploitation and enslavement of Black Americans. Now more than ever, IASJ accepts our responsibility as financial actors to use our investments as leverage to advance racial justice in all forms. Particularly, IASJ engages with companies in our Affiliates’ and Partners’ portfolios whose services or operations further systems of racial oppression. These include violations of labor rights, workplace discrimination, private prison funding, contracts with military, police, or immigration enforcement, pollution in environmental justice communities, weapons sales, and development and sales of surveillance technology. IASJ is committed to further incorporate a racial justice lens into our investor engagements and advocate for public policy to advance the systemic change needed.
IASJ helped draft the Investor Statement of Solidarity to Address Systemic Racism and Call to Action that was released in June 2020 and mobilized over 200 investors to endorse it. The Calls to Action include committing to engaging with, amplifying, and including Black voices in investor spaces; committing to embed a racial equity and justice lens into organizational practices; integrating racial justice into investment decision-making and engagement strategies; reinvesting in communities; and using the investor voice to advance anti-racist public policy. IASJ will integrate racial equity analysis throughout all our shareholder engagements and encourage companies to prevent and mitigate any adverse human rights impacts of business activities on communities of color and immigrant communities.
Other areas of engagement
- Discriminatory lending/banking practices
- Disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on communities of color
- Violations of indigenous rights and land rights
- Cumulative impacts and disproportionate pollution impacts in communities of color
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.
Investor Action on Immigration and Family Separation and Detention
IASJ responded 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.
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).