Microsoft found itself in the dog house this week after over 150 employees signed a petition calling on the company to end its contract to provide cloud-computing services to ICE, the government agency currently running baby prisons for immigrants and asylum seekers in Texas. In response to the criticism, company CEO Satya Nadella wrote a company-wide email addressing the ongoing humanitarian crisis down south and Microsoft's role in it.
"I want to be clear: Microsoft is not working with the U.S. government on any projects related to separating children from their families at the border. Our current cloud engagement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is supporting legacy mail, calendar, messaging and document management workloads," Nadella wrote. "Microsoft has a long history of taking a principled approach to how we live up to our mission of empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more with technology platforms and tools, while also standing up for our enduring values and ethics. Any engagement with any government has been and will be guided by our ethics and principles. We will continue to have this dialogue both within our company and with our stakeholders outside."
The company further outlined their position in a blog post, which I will paraphrase here: We don't agree with separating families but instead of actually di$$olving our contracts with ICE or the federal government, we urge Congress to pass legislation ending this cruel and unusual policy right now. See? We're the good guys!
Microsoft, like many tech firms, is highly reliant on guest workers and other immigrants. If you would like to express your own feelings about separating parents and children, Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal has called for a nationwide protest June 30. Or you could always call Steven Miller and tell him yourself.