Immigrants and allies hold a rally on Wednesday against JPMorgan Chase to protest the bank’s financing of private immigrant detention centers. Protesters placed empty shoes on the sidewalk in front of the building to represent immigrants. (SUSAN WATTS/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
Over 100 protesters weathered a sudden downpour as they gathered outside JPMorgan Chase headquarters in Midtown Manhattan Wednesday to challenge the bank’s investment and funding of private prisons and for-profit immigrant detention centers.
The protesters laid out pairs of shoes in front of the bank’s main office on Fifth Ave. before the rally began.
“We’re laying out empty shoes to symbolize immigrants who’ve been torn from their families and communities by Trump, and sent to detention centers,” said Deborah Axt, an official with Make the Road New York, the group that organized the protest.
JPMorgan Chase is one of six major banks that finances the debt of private prison and immigrant detention corporations GEO Group and CoreCivic, the demonstrators said.
“JPMorgan’s commitment under these agreements is in the hundreds of millions of dollars,” Make the Road New York and the Center for Popular Democracy alleges on their website.
Perla Lopez, 18, who immigrated from Mexico, said she was held in an immigration detention center in New Mexico after being detained by Border Patrol.
Protesters placed empty shoes on the sidewalk in front of the building to represent immigrants. (SUSAN WATTS/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
“People shouldn’t make money off the pain of our families,” she said at the rally.
Javier Valdes, 41, co-executive director of Make the Road New York, agreed.
“These policies are tearing apart black and brown communities,” he said. “The level of harassment of immigrant communities is on steroids in the last six months.”
The protesters chanted: “Hey Chase, you can’t hide we can see your greedy side!” and “No hate! No fear! Immigrants are welcome here!”
Andrew Gray, a bank spokesman, declined to comment.
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