Employees are circulating a petition asking the company not to bid on contracts with government agencies that enforce controversial immigration policies such as child detention.
In a new petition circulating on Medium, Google employees are demanding that their employer pledge not to work with US government agencies such as US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that enforce controversial immigration policies at the southern border such as family separation and child detainment. It’s the latest example of internal dissent and political tension at Google that’s been on the rise in the past few years.
The employees argue that the actions of ICE, CBP, and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) violate international human rights standards, pointing to the recent deaths of at least seven children in immigration officials’ custody in recent months. At least 24 people have died in ICE’s custody since President Trump’s inauguration.
Specifically, employees who signed the petition are asking Google not to bid on a contract with CBP to provide the agency with cloud technology.
“History is clear: the time to say NO is now,” the petition reads. “We refuse to be complicit. It is unconscionable that Google, or any other tech company, would support agencies engaged in caging and torturing vulnerable people.”
At the time of publication, 507 Google employees and 24 other supporters have signed the petition.
Google did not respond to a request for comment.
The petition asks Google to follow its own company-wide AI Principles, which state that Google will not build technologies “whose purpose contravenes widely accepted principles of international law and human rights.” Similar employee petitions and internal activism influenced Google to drop other controversial projects — such as Project Maven, the company’s contract with the Pentagon, and the company’s secretive efforts to build a censored search product for China, known as Project Dragonfly.
By Shirin Ghaffary for VOX.COM
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