Many CRI members have long engaged in ministry work to support immigrant communities by providing access to education, housing, spiritual direction, and legal aid to those in need. In our role as investors, we are well positioned to encourage the business community, and specifically corporations in our investment portfolios, to advocate for just immigration policies and to speak out in the face of actions that undermine respect for the human dignity of all people, including immigrant and refugee communities. Immigration has emerged as a priority engagement issue for Tri-CRI and the broader ICCR community due to the uncertainty immigrants face in the current U.S. political environment.
Investor Action to Oppose Family Separation and Detention
Tri-CRI is responding to growing concerns about the corporate role in enabling family separation and detention at the US-Mexico border by engaging companies that have business relationships with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), CBP (Customs and Border Protection), and ORR (Office of Refugee Resettlement). We initiated engagements with banks, tech companies, consulting companies, and defense contractors to encourage implementation of robust human rights due diligence to assess, identify, prevent, and mitigate human rights risks to migrant children, families, and asylum seekers. We also seek greater transparency about how companies factor human rights risks into the vetting process for federal contracts.
We participate actively in ICCR’s working group on immigration and support the work of the Investor Alliance for Human Rights, which recently published a resource on the business responsibility to respect migrant rights under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, called Guidance on Corporate Human Rights Due Diligence Related to Immigration Detention and Family Separation.
Other Actions on Immigration
We urge companies to assess the risks of business activities to immigrants and refugees within their workforce and supply chains, take steps to protect and support the advancement of those individuals, and to prevent discrimination in hiring, among other issues.
Tri-CRI was a signatory to the following investor letters:
- In February 2018, we signed onto a letter urging action to reinstate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El
Salvador, Haiti, and Nicaragua for another 18 months, and to extend TPS for Syria, Nepal, Honduras, and
the remaining countries for at least another 18 months.
- In February 2017, we joined investors in sending a letter to the representatives of President Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum to use that forum to speak out strongly against the President’s Executive Order restricting entry into the U.S. for refugees, immigrants, and documented residents from selected counties and further urged them to take steps to respect the rights of workers and align corporate policies and practices with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
- In 2013, our Coalition joined a large group of investors in calling for comprehensive immigration reform (see letter here).
Recognizing the important contributions immigrant communities make to our economy, culture, and society, we are working in collaboration with investors within ICCR to further integrate this priority into our shareholder engagement. Comprehensive immigration reform is an issue that touches nearly every corporation either through its workforce or customer base, therefore we would like to see all companies take action. We will also identify priority sectors for engagement that may be particularly exposed to risks related to immigration policy, for example those industries that have significant numbers of migrant workers, such as agriculture. In addition, investor engagement with the private prison companies that operate immigration detention centers will encourage respect for human rights in their operations. As we introduce the immigration policy issue in our ongoing dialogues, investors will encourage companies to be vocal in publicly opposing such policies due to the strong influence the business community has on the present administration.