Tech companies, which have long emphasized how their products are making the world a better place, make millions from their work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the government organization that’s become infamous for putting children in cages.
Americans, including tech workers, have increasingly scrutinized over the past year whether or not these companies are fulfilling — or betraying — their purported altruistic missions. This has manifested in protests that targeted Amazon’s wages and treatment of warehouse workers; sexual discrimination and abuse of employees at companies including Google; and the contracts that companies like Microsoft have with ICE and other government organizations accused of mistreating immigrants.
A Latinx activism organization rights group called Mijente has even started a campaign called #NoTechForIce to expose, protest, and stop Big Tech’s “outsized role” in collaborating with immigration enforcement like ICE.
Immigration is a particularly contentious issue in Silicon Valley, which relies on immigration to supply high-skilled tech workers to run its businesses.
So, over a year ago, I submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to review all of ICE’s current technology contracts. This week, I finally got the data (on a CD!).
Many of these contracts, including Microsoft’s, have been previously reported. But new information of expanded ICE raids and the abhorrent conditions inside the makeshift facilities where ICE houses migrants of all ages have renewed scrutiny for tech companies of all sizes that contract with ICE and aid its missions.