Students at Harvard, Berkeley, etc.: We won't work for Palantir over ICE contracts
College students at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, UC-Berkeley, and more than a dozen other universities are boycotting Palantir Technologies, a private American software company with ties to ICE.
The Palo Alto-based technology company has made donations to these schools and has a recruiting program for after-graduation job placement, as reported by The Hill. Palantir was co-founded by billionaire adviser Peter Thiel, who has supported President Donald Trump.
Students across the country are pressuring Palantir to drop its contracts with ICE.
More than 1,700 students have signed the campaign targeting Palantir. Students from Harvard, Yale, Brown, Stanford, UC-Berkeley, UC-Irvine, Johns Hopkins, the University of Florida, Tufts, Wellesley, RPI, Appalachian State, Belmont, Georgia Tech, the University of Utah, the University of Vancouver, the University of Washington and Santa Clara have signed the petition over the span of two weeks.
“By signing this petition, you’re sending a strong message that you will not work with Palantir while it enables ICE’s deportation machine,” the page reads. “If more schools send the message to Palantir that they will not work with a company that works with ICE, its future growth will be imperiled and it will be pressured to change tack.”
Democrat presidential candidate and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has called out Palantir in her campaign rally speeches, although she accepted money from three Palantir Technologies employees, as reported by The Washington Examiner.
“The campus has no comment other than to caution those who would use broad strokes to describe our student body. The petition regarding Palantir was signed by 200 students at Berkeley,” UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof told Campus Reform. “There are 42,000 students enrolled at our University. A failure to contextualize would be regrettable.”
“ICE’s mission to protect national security has remained unchanged since the agency was created in 2003,” Rachael Yong Yow, Public Affairs Officer at ICE, told Campus Reform. “The agency conducts criminal investigations ranging from human trafficking, child exploitation or financial crimes to transnational gang investigations and narcotics enforcement. ICE helps vet visa applicants to prevent terrorists and criminals from entering the U.S. and ICE conducts immigration enforcement in compliance with federal law. Further, the immigration laws being enforced today are the same ones that have been law for decades as enacted by Congress.”
Silicon Valley giants including Amazon, Microsoft and Salesforce continue to recruit on these campuses but are not protested, despite also having contracts with ICE.
Harvard and Yale declined to comment for this story.
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