California Democrats would pull state funds from firms helping build ‘wall of shame’

by WorldTribune Staff, March 22, 2017

A trio of California Democrats are pushing legislation that would have the state divest from any company participating in the construction of President Donald Trump’s border wall.

The proposal by Democratic state representatives Phil Ting, Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher and Eduardo Garcia would force California to end its pension investments in any companies involved in the project, The Mercury News reported on March 20.

Nearly 100 California vendors have expressed interest in helping to build the border wall.

“This is a wall of shame and we don’t want any part of it,” Ting said in a statement. “Immigrant stories are the history of America and this is a nightmare.”

More than 600 vendors, including nearly 100 from California, responded to a Feb. 24 pre-solicitation notice by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for bids on construction of the wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

On March 17, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection requested proposals for “border wall prototypes.”

The Democrats’ bill would require the California Public Employee Retirement System and the California State Teachers Retirement System — the two largest public pension funds in the nation, with investments of $312 billion and $202 billion, respectively — to liquidate investments in any company involved with the wall’s construction within a year, according to the Mercury News report. It would also require the pension-fund management to report a list of those companies to the Legislature.

Earlier this month, Berkeley claimed to be the first city in the nation to say it would divest from companies helping to build the border wall.