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'We Owe These Vulnerable Populations More': California Lawmakers Call on Gov. Newsom to Divest State From Child Detention Profiteers

The open letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom cited the #WayfairWalkout as the impetus for the request

Yvonne Nieves of El Paso, Texas demonstrates in front of the U.S. Border Patrol facility where lawyers reported that detained migrant children were held unbathed and hungry on June 27, 2019 in Clint, Texas.

Yvonne Nieves of El Paso, Texas demonstrates in front of the U.S. Border Patrol facility where lawyers reported that detained migrant children were held unbathed and hungry on June 27, 2019 in Clint, Texas. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A pair of California state lawmakers are calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom to divest the state's pension fund from businesses that work with federal immigration detentions facilities. 

State Assemblymember Cristina Garcia and state Senator Lena Gonzalez, both Democrats, made the request of Newsom in an open letter Wednesday that cited that day's walkout of employees of online retailer Wayfair in protest of the company's profiting off of child detentions. 

"I am asking that we, as a State follow the example of these brave workers and cease vesting in publicly held companies that contract with, or provide services to companies that operate detention centers," the letter reads. 

The letter cites conditions at the child prisons. As Common Dreams reported on Thursday, recent reports are showing those conditions are even worse than was previously thought. Customs and Border Protection child prisons were referred to by one expert as "torture facilities" in testimony for a lawsuit seeking an emergency restraining order against the conditions. 

In their letter, Garcia and Gonzalez call for California to lead the way to hold accountable those profiting from child detention.

"It is extremely important that California stop funding actions directly or indirectly through investment and state contracts," the pair wrote. "We owe these vulnerable populations more, and it is our responsibility to ensure that we are not contributing to the expansion of the current inhumane treatment of them."

Newsom had not publicly responded to the letter at press time.

Read the letter:

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