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New Research Shows Who Profits from Border Militarization

A Border Patrol exercise at the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego.  Photo: Pedro Rios / AFSC

Website screens investments for companies profiting from border construction

Oakland, CA (February 28, 2019) The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) – a Quaker organization that has worked for more than a century for peace and justice across the globe – has released new research showing who profits from the militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border. The research is part of the Investigate project, which allows individuals to scan their stock portfolios and mutual funds to see if they are invested in companies that make money from state violence.

“Detention, deportation, and border militarization are deeply harmful to families and communities across the U.S.,” says Dalit Baum, Economic Activism Director for AFSC and Investigate’s creator. “They are also a multi-billion-dollar industry. We must make it very clear that companies who profit from family separation and human rights violations could suffer an economic cost for their actions.”

The site tracks publicly-traded companies that have been contracted for border wall construction and maintenance, as well as border surveillance and monitoring. It also provides information on companies profiting from detention facilities, services to such facilities, and the surveillance of immigrants.

“Many people who care about social justice issues don’t realize that their city, university, or even their retirement fund, is invested in human rights violations at the border,” explains Baum. “This website is designed to help people access information so they can hold corporations accountable for harms they are causing.”

The Investigate database is based on original research and lists over 150 company and industry profiles. The information is drawn from a variety of sources, including information published by other independent research initiatives and government agencies, corporate documents including annual reports and SEC filings, legal documents, academic research, and media reports.

In addition to borders and immigrant detention, the site also provides research on companies that profit from prisons and incarceration, and companies involved in Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territory or the Syrian Golan Heights.

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The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that promotes lasting peace with justice, as a practical expression of faith in action. Drawing on continuing spiritual insights and working with people of many backgrounds, we nurture the seeds of change and respect for human life that transform social systems.

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