Salesforce Employees Join Growing Protests Against Tech Contracts With Border Agencies

Employees want the company to examine its deal with Customs and Border Protection.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is being asked to "re-examine" the company's contract with US Customs and Border Protection.Javier Rojas/ Prensa Internacional via ZUMA

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On Monday, a group of 650 Salesforce employees called on CEO Marc Benioff to “re-examine” the company’s relationship with US Customs and Border Protection in light of the agency’s role in separating children and parents at the border. “Given the inhumane separation of children from their parents currently taking place at the border, we believe that our core value of Equality is at stake and that Salesforce should re-examine our contractual relationship with CBP and speak out against its practices,” states the employee letter, which was obtained by Buzzfeed.

Last week, employees at Amazon and Microsoft released similar letters, calling on their CEOs to end relationships with policing agencies at the border. The protests come about a month after an employee protest at Google resulted in the company deciding to not renew its contract providing the Pentagon with artificial intelligence to analyze drone footage.

Salesforce, a cloud computing company based in San Francisco, is best known for its customer relationship software.  As Mother Jones reported last week, Salesforce signed a contract with CBP in March to provide the agency with cloud and recruiting software. The contracts between major tech companies and immigration agencies, some worth tens of millions, have been under increased scrutiny in light of the Trump administration’s immigration policies. A representative from Salesforce told Mother Jones at the time that the company was “not working with US Customs and Border Protection regarding the separation of families at the border.”

“We cannot cede responsibility for the use of the technology we create—particularly when we have reason to believe that it is being used to aid practices so irreconcilable to our values,” employees wrote in the letter. “We want our work at Salesforce to have a positive impact on our friends and neighbors, not to make us complicit in the inhumane treatment of vulnerable people.”

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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