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Merkley Urges Oregon Fund To Drop Prison Companies

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, a sharp critic of the Trump administration’s immigration policies, is urging the Oregon state employee pension fund to drop investments in prison companies where immigrants have been locked up by federal immigration officials.

Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, says the state Legislature might need to assist.

In an email to The Associated Press, Merkley said Oregon’s values must be reflected in investment decisions. Oregon was the nation’s first sanctuary state.

The Oregon pension fund is invested in two prison companies that run immigrant detention facilities, and in a company whose smartphone spyware has been used by repressive regimes against dissidents and human rights defenders.

Top lawmakers and the state treasury did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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