Google employees are in the spotlight once again, calling for their company to take a political stance over its decision to work with the federal government.
In a new petition circulating on Medium, staffers are demanding that the company pledge to not work with some key U.S. government agencies, namely the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
They say these entities enforce controversial immigration policies that violate human rights.
ICE, CBP and the Office of Refugee Resettlement, “are caging and harming asylum seekers, separating children from parents, illegally detaining refugees and U.S. citizens, and perpetrating a system of abuse and malign neglect that has led to the deaths of at least 7 children in detention camps,” the note reads. “These abuses are illegal under international human rights law, and immoral by any standard.
“History is clear,” it continues. “The time to say NO is now.”
Specifically, employees are asking Google not to bid on a CBP contract that would provide the agency with cloud-computing technology: “It’s time to stand together again and state clearly that we will not work on any such contract. We demand that Google publicly commit not to support CBP, ICE, or ORR with any infrastructure, funding, or engineering resources, directly or indirectly, until they stop engaging in human rights abuses. We refuse to be complicit … the world is watching and the facts are clear.”
As of press time, the petition had nearly 600 signatures.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Antonio Garza, speaking on "The Evening Edit" on Fox Business Network points out the dynamic of the deepening divide over immigration and border security.
"I work with milennials and they want a workplace and to work for a company whre there's a certain alignment in their values," he said.
"When we have very polarizing and contentious debates in the public arena, I think you're going to see this reflected in the workspace as well. And there's no middle ground."
Google has recently come under fire over leaked documents claiming it censors certain right-leaning websites from its search engine, leading some to believe the company isn't innocent of political bias.
This is not the first time Google employees have raised concerns about the company’s policies related to politics.
In 2017, thousands of staffers joined to protest stricter immigration rules proposed by the Trump Administration. A year later, Google ended a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense for artificial intelligence work after concerned staffers highlighted that the technology could potentially be used for lethal purposes.
Movements like these have put tremendous pressure on big corporations to take a political stance when it comes to decisions about working with the government, and are becoming more common.
Last month, more than 500 Wayfair employees signed a petition and planned a walkout over the company’s sale of mattresses to a detention camp along the southern border.