Carnegie Mellon Students Want Palantir Removed from Career Fairs over ICE Contract

A protestor holds a sign reading No one is Illegal during a rally against the US immigration policy on September 14, 2019 in New York City. - Some dozens protesters were arrested by the police after blocking the 5th Avenue. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo credit should read …

Students at Carnegie Mellon University are threatening to “protest” and “kick recruiters out of career fairs” that do business with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The students are particularly outraged over the software company, Palantir, and its contracts with ICE, which provide the agency with critical tools for enforcing U.S. immigration law.

“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,” proclaim the students in a petition accusing the company of working with “an agency that has been unleashed under the Trump administration to target, detain, and deport thousands of immigrants across the country.”

Not only does the petition call on fellow students to refrain from getting involved with Palantir, it also calls on the company to cancel its contracts with the law enforcement agency, or else be met by students “committed to pursuing Palantir,” and who “will kick recruiters out of career fairs” on campus.

“There are dozens of schools represented by the students who have signed this pledge,” affirm the students in their petition. “All of us are committed to pursuing Palantir across our campuses.”

“We will kick recruiters out of career fairs, protest company speakers on campus, and urge university administrators to drop the company’s sponsorship at every turn,” avow the students.

“We are not alone,” the students continue, recalling other instances in which they have successfully obstructed the company’s ability to recruit potential employees from UC Berkeley.

“Earlier this year, hundreds of academics pressured U.C. Berkeley to drop Palantir as a sponsor of a privacy scholars conference,” the students reminisce. “In late August, Lesbians Who Tech dropped Palantir as a sponsor of its annual conference, citing its work for immigration enforcement.”

The students then warn Palantir that as more of them learn of its involvement with ICE, they will soon turn the company into “a pariah, shut off from academia and computer science talent unless it decides to change tack.”

The petition goes on to argue that students who choose to work with companies such as Palantir are “either directly responsible or complicit in the violence tech companies facilitate on immigrants and refugees.”

“Tell Palantir you will not work with them while they build tools that enable human rights abuses,” urge the students in their petition.

The outrage over Palantir was allegedly spurred by the company proving ICE with two separate tools, known as the Investigative Case Management (ICM) and FALCON.

According to the students, the use of ICM has “resulted in the arrests of at least 443 people over 90 days.”

“Its second tool, FALCON, is used by agents leading workplace raids, which increased by 650% during President Trump’s first year in office and arrest thousands of people every year just for being undocumented,” the students added, seemingly dismayed over the notion that law enforcement would use such tools for the enforcement of U.S. immigration law.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


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