Dozens of Microsoft employees are calling on the company to cut ties with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) amid growing outcry over the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy.
than 100 employees signed on to an open letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, which was posted to an internal message board and obtained by The New York Times on Tuesday.
“We believe that Microsoft must take an ethical stand, and put children and families above profits,” the letter reads.
The letter demands that Microsoft end its $19 million contract with the agency to use the company’s Azure cloud product for sensitive data processing.
The employees wrote that they “refuse to be complicit” in the Trump administration’s policy of prosecuting illegal border crossers, a practice that has led to at least 2,000 children being separated from their parents.
“We are part of a growing movement, comprised of many across the industry who recognize the grave responsibility that those creating powerful technology have to ensure what they build is used for good, and not for harm,” they wrote.
Microsoft has come under scrutiny for its ties to ICE after immigration activists noticed a January blog post on the Microsoft website saying that the company was “proud to support” the federal agency’s work.
An employee briefly deleted the post in response to the online backlash, a Microsoft spokesperson said Monday. The company later restored the post, calling the deletion a “mistake.”
The company added in a statement Monday that it was “dismayed by the forcible separation of children from their families at the border.”
A source with knowledge of the company’s contract with ICE told The Hill they did not believe that the federal agency was using Microsoft’s product to support the family separation operations.
The Trump administration is facing massive outcry from lawmakers in both parties, as well as the public, religious leaders and dozens of other activist groups over the policy.
President Trump has showed no signs of backing down on the policy, however, restating his support for practice during a speech Tuesday while calling Democrats “the problem.”