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8 Nov 2019

Johana Bhuiyan, Los Angeles Times

GitHub executives respond to employees protests to recent ICE contract renewals

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"GitHub is trying to quell employee anger over its ICE contract. It's not going well", 31 October 2019

...GitHub Chief Executive Nat Friedman announced on [9 October] his company would donate half a million dollars to nonprofits helping communities affected by [US] immigration policies [in an effort to advert]... an internal protest [similar to] other technology firms whose software powers controversial government policies.... [Chief Operating Officer Erica Brescia and the leadership team said] that barring ICE from “access to GitHub could actually hurt the very people we all want to help... We have learned from a number of nonprofits and refugee advocates that one of the greatest challenges facing immigrants is a lack of technology at ICE and related agencies, resulting in lost case files, court date notifications not being delivered, or the wrong people being charged or deported”...  Brescia cited the “other important work ICE does, such as stopping child exploitation, human trafficking, money laundering and disrupting terrorist networks.” ... Brescia’s letter was a second response to an Oct. 9 open letter from employees calling on GitHub to cancel its contract with ICE. The employees behind it said continuing to work with ICE would make the San Francisco-based company “complicit in widespread human rights abuses.”... GitHub parent company Microsoft — which has contracts with ICE worth more than $8 million, according to Recode — has also resisted giving in to employee demands to stop working with the agency... Raices, a Texas-based nonprofit that provides legal services to immigrants and refugees... [responded] to Brescia’s claim that nonprofits want ICE to have better technology [said] “We can assure you that’s not the case”...