PHOTO: Getty Images
Now playing
02:45
Pelosi: House will pass Senate version of border aid bill
Now playing
03:09
Trivago CEO's son crashes live CNN interview
Now playing
01:09
Here are some of Budweiser's best Super Bowl ads ever
Steve Gray stands outside his home in Gillette, Wyoming. He called CNN concerned that, following the election of President Biden, that Gillette could become a "ghost town." He says he was laid off from an oil field job in 2015, then subsequently from another job in oil and then one in coal last year.
Steve Gray stands outside his home in Gillette, Wyoming. He called CNN concerned that, following the election of President Biden, that Gillette could become a "ghost town." He says he was laid off from an oil field job in 2015, then subsequently from another job in oil and then one in coal last year.
PHOTO: McKenna Ewen
Now playing
09:21
He called CNN after the election to share his biggest fear
PHOTO: Shutterstock
Now playing
04:42
Ever receive a package you didn't order? It could be a scam
Outgoing US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania arrive at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida, on January 20, 2021. - President Trump and the First Lady travel to their Mar-a-Lago golf club residence in Palm Beach, Florida, and will not attend the inauguration for President-elect Joe Biden. (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Outgoing US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania arrive at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida, on January 20, 2021. - President Trump and the First Lady travel to their Mar-a-Lago golf club residence in Palm Beach, Florida, and will not attend the inauguration for President-elect Joe Biden. (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: ALEX EDELMAN/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
Now playing
03:05
Sales drop at Trump businesses hit hard by pandemic, toxic image
US President Joe Biden signs executive orders for economic relief to Covid-hit families and businesses in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on January 22, 2021. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
US President Joe Biden signs executive orders for economic relief to Covid-hit families and businesses in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on January 22, 2021. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
02:42
Biden signs executive order to promote $15 federal minimum wage
White House senior adviser Kevin Hassett speaks with reporters at the White House, Friday, June 19, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
White House senior adviser Kevin Hassett speaks with reporters at the White House, Friday, June 19, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
PHOTO: Alex Brandon/AP
Now playing
05:08
Ex-Trump official who supports Biden stimulus plan speaks out
Miles of unused pipe, prepared for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, sit in a lot on October 14, 2014 outside Gascoyne, North Dakota. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Miles of unused pipe, prepared for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, sit in a lot on October 14, 2014 outside Gascoyne, North Dakota. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Now playing
01:58
Biden revokes Keystone XL pipeline permit
Now playing
03:17
Many believed conspiracy theories about Trump and the election. Now, they're losing faith
SAN ANSELMO, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 08: The suspended Twitter account of U.S. President Donald Trump appears on an iPhone screen on January 08, 2021 in San Anselmo, California. Citing the risk of further incitement of violence following an attempted insurrection on Wednesday, Twitter permanently suspended President Donald Trump
SAN ANSELMO, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 08: The suspended Twitter account of U.S. President Donald Trump appears on an iPhone screen on January 08, 2021 in San Anselmo, California. Citing the risk of further incitement of violence following an attempted insurrection on Wednesday, Twitter permanently suspended President Donald Trump's account. (Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Now playing
04:29
What impact could deplatforming Donald Trump have?
Members of the Michigan Boogaloo Bois an anti-government group stand with their long guns near the Capitol Building in Lansing, Michigan on January 17, 2021, during a nationwide protest called by anti-government and far-right groups supporting US President Donald Trump and his claim of electoral fraud in the November 3 presidential election. - The FBI warned authorities in all 50 states to prepare for armed protests at state capitals in the days leading up to the January 20 presidential inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. (Photo by SETH HERALD / AFP) (Photo by SETH HERALD/AFP via Getty Images)
Members of the Michigan Boogaloo Bois an anti-government group stand with their long guns near the Capitol Building in Lansing, Michigan on January 17, 2021, during a nationwide protest called by anti-government and far-right groups supporting US President Donald Trump and his claim of electoral fraud in the November 3 presidential election. - The FBI warned authorities in all 50 states to prepare for armed protests at state capitals in the days leading up to the January 20 presidential inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. (Photo by SETH HERALD / AFP) (Photo by SETH HERALD/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Seth Herald/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
04:37
Expert: Social media to extremism is like oxygen to fire
PHOTO: @Virgin_Orbit
Now playing
01:03
Watch this rocket launch from the wing of a jumbo jet
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 22: Facebook
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 22: Facebook's Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg speaks with AEI president Arthur C. Brooks during a public conversation on Facebook's work on 'breakthrough innovations that seek to open up the world' at The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research on June 22, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Allison Shelley/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Now playing
01:23
Hear Sandberg downplay Facebook's role in the Capitol riots
Passengers look out at American Airlines flight 718, a Boeing 737 Max, parked at its gate at Miami International Airport as people load for the flight to New York on December 29, 2020 in Miami, Florida. The Boeing 737 Max flew its first commercial flight since the aircraft was allowed to return to service nearly two years after being grounded worldwide following a pair of separate crashes. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Passengers look out at American Airlines flight 718, a Boeing 737 Max, parked at its gate at Miami International Airport as people load for the flight to New York on December 29, 2020 in Miami, Florida. The Boeing 737 Max flew its first commercial flight since the aircraft was allowed to return to service nearly two years after being grounded worldwide following a pair of separate crashes. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Now playing
03:15
Airlines & TSA boost security ahead of Inauguration
Philanthropist Chief Executive Officer of Las Vegas Sands Sheldon Adelson listens to US President Donald Trump address to the Israeli American Council National Summit 2019 at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida on December 7, 2019. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Philanthropist Chief Executive Officer of Las Vegas Sands Sheldon Adelson listens to US President Donald Trump address to the Israeli American Council National Summit 2019 at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida on December 7, 2019. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
03:14
Major GOP donor and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson dies
(CNN Business) —  

Prison operators have been thrust into the spotlight recently since many of them run the controversial immigrant detention centers near the US border with Mexico.

Two of these companies, CoreCivic (CXW) and GEO Group (GEO), are publicly traded – so many may hold them in an index fund or ETF as part of their portfolio or retirement account like a 401(k) or IRA without even knowing it.

Vanguard and iShares owner BlackRock (BLK) are the two largest holders of CoreCivic and GEO.

Both stocks are held mainly in passive funds that mimic indexes that include the companies, such as the S&P Mid Cap 400, Russell 2000 and the benchmark real estate MSCI US REIT Index, as opposed to funds where managers choose to buy them.

State Street Global Advisers (STT), which runs the popular SPDR series of index funds and ETFs, Prudential’s (PRU) QMA unit and mutual fund giant Fidelity are also significant holders of CoreCivic and GEO in various mutual funds and ETFs.

It’s not yet clear if big investment firms will distance themselves from the prison industry, similar to what iShares and several other fund managers did with gun stocks American Outdoor Brands (AOBC) (formerly Smith & Wesson) and Sturm Ruger (RGR) in the wake of a series of mass shootings in America during the past few years.

Vanguard said in a statement to CNN Business that the prison stocks make up a “very modest” portion of the company’s portfolios, adding that it would be impractical to eliminate all controversial stocks from funds.

“We believe it would be exceedingly difficult to manage our funds effectively and efficiently while seeking to address the many social, political, and environmental concerns of our 20 million clients and the broader global community,” the company said.

BlackRock/iShares did not respond to a comment about whether it would look to exclude CoreCivic and GEO from index mutual funds and ETFs.

iShares has a socially responsible ETF tied to the S&P Mid Cap 400 index called the MSCI KLD 400 Social (DSI) fund which does not hold GEO and CoreCivic.

State Street, Prudential and Fidelity were not immediately available for comment about their funds’ ownership of CoreCivic and GEO.

But the controversy surrounding the migrant crisis is having a broad impact on the financial services industry.

Many big banks, including Wells Fargo (WFC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and, most recently, Bank of America (BAC), are cutting back on business relationships with CoreCivic, GEO and other privately held owners of prisons and detention centers.