BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — About 25 people rallied outside a Chase Bank branch in Bridgeport Wednesday morning, saying JP Morgan Chase profits by financing private immigrant detention centers.
“Are we going to stand here and do nothing while these people are making money by separating our families?” said Luis Luna, a worker organizer for Make The Road Connecticut, a group that supports immigrants. “Chase should stop these loans to these private detention centers.”
Supporters held a banner reading “Chase Funds Deportations” and chanted and cheered when passing drivers honked their horns in support.
The rally was part of a national day of action, in which immigrants and allies across the country were expected to protest “JPMorgan Chase for its complicity in President (Donald) Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda, particularly through its financing of private immigrant detention centers run by the GEO Group and CoreCivic,” according to a press release.
On Wednesday, Trump threw his support behind legislation that would cut legal immigration into the United States by proposing a skills-based immigration system. The president has also worked to step up deportation proceedings.
The Bridgeport bank sits at the corner of State and Hancock streets, directly across from a long-established pickup site for day laborers looking for work. The protesters said the site can never be a truly safe space for immigrant workers with the bank so close by.
The protesters expected to rally for about two hours in the noonday sun, listening to immigrants and their allies tell their stories in both English and Spanish.
Charlie Hernandez, 16, led the group in a few chants, saying he knows first-hand how the current crackdown on immigration can affect families.
“They have the power to take my mom away from me,” he said.
Earlier this year, about 500 New Yorkers marched against JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, with 12 facing arrest for civil disobedience. Hundreds also marched to Chase’s annual shareholders meeting and confronted CEO Jamie Dimon.
A Chase security guard kept watch over the far-smaller group in Bridgeport, but it appeared it would remain a peaceful protest.
“We are here because we are strong together,” Luna said.
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