Billions of dollars from teachers' pensions have been invested into private prisons that have detained captured undocumented immigrants near the southern border, according to a new report from The American Federation of Teachers.

Expand chart
Adapted from an American Fedration of Teachers report; Note: General Dynamics’s core business is not operating private prisons, but is included because it has contracts with migrant shelters; Table: Axios Visuals

The big picture: AFT, which has 1.7 million total members, says that it kept receiving requests for information from members who expressed concerns about indirectly supporting private prisons used to separate families and detain immigrants.

The details: More than $10 billion was invested into private jail operators GEO Group and CoreCivic, as well as defense contractor General Dynamics, which has worked with the Department of Health and Human services.

  • General Dynamics received the most investment from teacher pension funds, at just over $10 billion through August 7, 2018.

What they're saying: AFT is urging pension fund managers to divest, arguing that not only are these investments ethically questionable, but that they also may be bad business.

  • AFT argues that these companies have benefited from the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, as well as from a policy that allows federal inmates to be housed at private prisons — but both could be reversed.
  • Per AFT President Randi Weingarten: "Hedge funds that invest in private prisons are not only profiting off a broken justice system and abetting the administration’s policies of family separation ... They are also making a risky bet on an industry rightfully under siege."

The other side: GeoGroup said in a statement that it has never managed facilities housing unaccompanied minors or provided services for that purpose, and describes the AFT report as "outrageous." Neither CoreCivic nor General Dynamics returned requests for comment.

Go deeper

30 mins ago - Podcasts

The art and business of political polling

The election is just eight days away, and it’s not just the candidates whose futures are on the line. Political pollsters, four years after wrongly predicting a Hillary Clinton presidency, are viewing it as their own judgment day.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the polls, and what pollsters have changed since 2016, with former FiveThirtyEight writer and current CNN politics analyst Harry Enten.

Twitter launches warnings on election misinformation and delays

Photo: courtesy of Twitter

Twitter will start pinning notices to the top of all U.S. Twitter users’ timelines warning that results in next week’s election may be delayed and that they may encounter misinformation on mail-in voting.

Why it matters: Delayed election results are expected across many states that are handling unprecedented amounts of absentee and mailed ballots, which President Trump has baselessly called "very dangerous" and "corrupt."

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
3 hours ago - Science

NASA confirms water exists on sunny parts of the Moon


Water on the Moon might be more easily accessible than previously thought, opening up new possible avenues for future human exploration, according to a new study.

Why it matters: NASA is aiming to send people back to the Moon as part of its Artemis program by 2024, with plans to eventually create a sustainable presence on the lunar surface. That sustainability relies on mining the moon for its resources, like water.