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Microsoft ‘dismayed’ by family separations at the border after criticism mounts over ICE contract

Following criticism over a cloud contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Microsoft issued a press release on Monday and stated it was “dismayed” by the separation of households and youngsters at the border.

Microsoft was referred to as out on social media after customers resurfaced a January blog post highlighting its work with ICE. Bloomberg reported that the reference to ICE in the submit was eliminated however then later changed on Monday.

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— Mat Marquis (@wilto) June 18, 2018

The Trump administration has come below hearth this month for its policy of separating parents and migrant children at the border.

Right here’s the full assertion from Microsoft:

“As an organization, Microsoft is dismayed by the forcible separation of youngsters from their households at the border. Family unification has been a basic tenant of American coverage and legislation since the finish of World Battle II. As an organization Microsoft has labored for over 20 years to mix expertise with the rule of legislation to make sure that kids who’re refugees and immigrants can stay with their mother and father. We have to proceed to construct on this noble custom reasonably than change course now. We urge the administration to alter its coverage and Congress to go laws making certain kids are now not separated from their households.”

Replace: Microsoft issued a revised statement in a while Tuesday, including that the Microsoft merchandise usually are not getting used particularly for the separation of households at the U.S.-Mexico border:

“In response to questions we need to be clear: Microsoft shouldn’t be working with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or U.S. Customs and Border Safety on any initiatives associated to separating kids from their households at the border, and opposite to some hypothesis, we aren’t conscious of Azure or Azure providers getting used for this goal. As an organization, Microsoft is dismayed by the forcible separation of youngsters from their households at the border. Family unification has been a basic tenet of American coverage and legislation since the finish of World Battle II. As an organization Microsoft has labored for over 20 years to mix expertise with the rule of legislation to make sure that kids who’re refugees and immigrants can stay with their mother and father. We have to proceed to construct on this noble custom reasonably than change course now. We urge the administration to alter its coverage and Congress to go laws making certain kids are now not separated from their households.”

Bloomberg reported that Microsoft has greater than $19 million in lively cloud contracts with ICE.

Microsoft President Brad Smith addressed the border controversy in a blog post on LinkedIn this weekend.

“After we preserve kids with their mother and father, we not solely comply with in the footsteps of considered one of the world’s oldest and most essential humanitarian traditions, we assist construct a stronger nation,” he wrote.

Microsoft has beforehand taken a stance on immigration-related points. The corporate and Princeton College sued the Trump administration in November claiming that makes an attempt to finish DACA, a program that enables undocumented immigrants dropped at the U.S. as kids to check and work in the nation, violate each the U.S Structure and federal legislation. A federal decide sided with Microsoft and Princeton however the authorized way forward for the program continues to be unsure.

Tech giants are dealing with growing scrutiny in regard to their work with the authorities. Amazon noticed pushback this week on selling its facial recognition software to police, and Google stated it won’t seek additional business associated to a controversial synthetic intelligence challenge it signed final 12 months with the Division of Protection.

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