- Microsoft staff wrote to CEO Satya Nadella calling on the firm to cancel its $19.4 million contract with the US’s Immigration, Customs and Enforcement agency.
- They are dismayed at President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy, in which families and children are separated after crossing the US-Mexico border illegally.
- The 100 staff said the company “must take an ethical stand” and draft policy stating it will not work for clients who “violate international human rights law.”
- After the letter was posted on the internal Microsoft messaging board, Nadella sent a memo to staff calling for Trump’s “abhorrent” policy to end.
More than 100 Microsoft staff have reportedly written to CEO Satya Nadella protesting the company’s work for the US’s Immigration, Customs and Enforcement (ICE) agency.
The letter was posted on the internal message board on Tuesday and was obtained by The New York Times.
It calls on Microsoft to ditch its $19.4 million (£14.7 million) contract with ICE in light of President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy, in which families and children are separated after crossing the US-Mexico border illegally.
“We believe that Microsoft must take an ethical stand, and put children and families above profits,” staff wrote, adding that the firm should immediately cancel its contracts with the “inhumane and cruel” agency.
The letter also called on Microsoft to draft a policy stating that the firm will not take on work for clients who “violate international human rights law.” It added that Microsoft should be transparent about its work for the government.
You can read the letter, published by The New York Times, in full below:
The Times said the letter was posted before Nadella wrote to staff calling for Trump’s “abhorrent” policy to end. He also downplayed the nature of the company’s work with ICE, saying it was mostly just email, calendars, and other office software.
“This new policy implemented on the border is simply cruel and abusive, and we are standing for change,” Nadella said, saying that as a parent and an immigrant “this issue touches me personally.”
But he stressed: “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.”