Home Technology Regulation Microsoft says pro-migrant, but no mention of cancelling ICE contract
Microsoft says pro-migrant, but no mention of cancelling ICE contract Featured

Both Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella and president Brad Smith have responded to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement separating migrant children from their parents at the Mexico-US border by issuing strong statements against the practice.

However, neither has said a word about ending the company's US$19.4 million contract with ICE.

US President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday cancelling the separation policy for the next 20 days. About 4000 children have already been taken from their parents and there is no sign of their being returned.

About 100 employees had sent a letter to Nadella, asking for the contract with ICE to be cancelled.

In his statement, Nadella claimed that Microsoft was not involved in any US Government projects related to separating children from their families at the border.

"Our current cloud engagement with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement is supporting legacy mail, calendar, messaging and document management workloads," he wrote.

Smith's post dealt with two pieces of legislation which the US Congress is to vote on soon: the Securing America’s Future Act and the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018.

He outlined the provisions in each bill which Microsoft supported and aspects of each that it found troublesome.

The employees had asked Nadella to:

  • "Cancel the existing Azure Government contract with ICE immediately.
  • "Draft, publicise, and enforce a clear policy stating that neither Microsoft nor its contractors will work with clients who violate international human rights law.
  • "Commit to transparency and review regarding contracts between Microsoft and government agencies, in the US and beyond."

Nadella did not deal with any of these concerns in his post. Neither did Smith.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the sitecame into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

 

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