Duke students sign pledge not to apply for jobs at Palantir over ICE contracts

Duke University students are questioning the validity of American data-giant, Palantir, with a call for the university to ban the company from being able to recruit on campus.

Their reasoning for the suspension is due to Palantir’s connections to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Despite student efforts to oust Palantir from Duke career fairs, the university is standing strong against students. School administrators believe Palantir has the right to be on campus and will not be suspending the company’s access to future Duke career fairs and events.

[RELATED: Students at Harvard, Berkeley, etc.: We won’t work for Palantir over ICE contracts]

Vinik Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering Ravi Venkat Bellamkonda told The Chronicle, that even though Palantir’s systems are “used to enforce immigration policies that are deeply disturbing,” the university must protect “access to our campus to [all] people and companies that we find objectionable,” adding that cannot be up to any particular group to “decide for everyone which companies are okay or not.”

Although Duke is not the only university behind “Students Pledge #NoTechForICE” campaign, sophomore Jeremy Carballo Pineda, started the online campaign representing the university.

“We the undersigned are pledging not to work at Palantir while it continues to do business with ICE. We will not apply for jobs at Palantir, we will not interview for jobs at Palantir, and we will not accept jobs at Palantir while the company is engaged in the business of deportation,” the petition reads. “We call on the company to cancel its contracts with ICE and we call on all students to join us in withholding our talent from Palantir.”

[RELATED: Students call on university to ban ICE contractor from campus]

The petition also calls on other students to boycott Palantir and companies that support ICE.

“Join us. If you are a student, sign below to tell Palantir you will not work with them while they build tools that enable human rights abuses. Through recruitment, seminars, and other events, we are funneled into tech companies that facilitate the detention and deportation of immigrants in the United States,” Carballo Pineda said. “We have the responsibility and the leverage to change the outcome of these tech companies. They cannot build ICE tools if we don’t work for them.”

Duke student government declined to comment for this story.

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