Nationwide, approximately 50,000 immigrants are detained in ICE detention centers - the highest number in this country’s history - and the majority of whom are not in any violation of the law. Over 70% are detained in for-profit prisons. Many are refugees who have fled almost certain death in their home countries, only to be detained in deplorable conditions - often for many months or sometimes even years - while they await their asylum hearings.

Private prisons are a horrifically inhumane approach to incarceration. Widely recognized as a form of modern slavery, they center profit over the public interest and are built on a legacy of deeply entrenched racism. Numerous deaths from easily preventable causes have been documented of immigrants detained in these conditions.

Here in northern New Mexico, we have one of these private immigrant detention centers in our own backyard: the Cibola County Correctional Center, located about 90 miles west of Albuquerque. The City of Santa Fe supports this prison financially through its relationship with Wells Fargo, the City’s official working bank. Wells Fargo is a main investor in CoreCivic, the company that runs the Cibola Correctional Center, and has also supported their operations by financing their debt through revolving credit. Wells Fargo announced in March 2019 that it would end its financing relationship with private prison companies. However, it has made no clear commitment to what ending that relationship would look like, and must be held accountable by the public to ensure meaningful follow-through.

The movement to divest from private prisons has a long successful history of pressuring cities, universities, and other major entities to pull their money out of this draconian system. Campaigns in cities like Seattle, Portland, and New York have all resulted in huge prison divestment victories. Check out the resources available here, and talk to your network. Contact us to join the movement to divest from private prisons.

Prison Divest New Mexico is a special project of the SANTA FE DREAMERS PROJECT.  Santa Fe Dreamers Project provides free legal services to immigrants to promote economic empowerment, community development, family unity, and liberation from detention. Our work is centered around the belief that supporting immigrants makes our whole community stronger.  

The bulk of the information on this website comes from the organizations Freedom to Thrive and RealMoneyMoves. Freedom to Thrive (formerly Enlace) has been steadily building a national grassroots movement for divestment from private prisons for over 10 years, and RealMoneyMoves works with high-net worth individuals to make finance a tool for social justice.  We are deeply indebted to them for their years of hard work and the incredible resources they have developed to guide communities and individuals through the divestment process.