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Students boycott software company Palantir for ties to ICE

By
Nicholas Sakelaris
Activists gather for a rally to oppose the Trump administration's immigration policies, at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, Calif., on July 21, 2018. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Activists gather for a rally to oppose the Trump administration's immigration policies, at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, Calif., on July 21, 2018. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 16 (UPI) -- A group of more than 1,200 college students from 17 American institutions have signed a pledge never to work for a software company that does business with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The students made their protest public Monday, calling on universities to sever ties with the company, Palantir. The students are enrolled at universities including Yale, Stanford, Harvard and University of California, Berkley.

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"We the undersigned are pledging not to work at Palantir while it continues to do business with ICE," the letter states. "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 group calls itself NoTechForICE, and says students will collect more signatures in the coming months.

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Palantir recruits heavily at colleges and pays for access to career fairs, student resumes and other opportunities to interact with students. It also donates to some universities.

"Without these corporate partnerships, Palantir's recruitment efforts and future growth would stall," the letter says.

The students said Palantir's work with ICE leads to family separations, workplace raids and deportations.

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Palantir CEO Alex Carp wrote in an op-ed in The Washington Post this month he's deeply "sympathetic" to persons concerned about the use of Palantir software in immigration cases.

"Let me be brutally clear about this: The young people who volunteer for the Marines and get deployed overseas might no agree with every mission, but you can be sure they are doing their jobs," Karp said. "The limited use of our platform by Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been widely reported and engulfed by the broader, often politicized immigration debate.

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