Tech Employees Are Stepping Up to Stop Family Separation
You don’t have to be Mark Zuckerberg to protest the Trump administration’s separation of immigrant children from their parents.
Employees across the tech sector have considerable leverage to help stop the policy.
Exhibit A: When the Trump White House announced its Muslim ban in January 2017, thousands of Googlers walked off the job, and their CEO became a leading voice against the ban. Since then, Google employees have also used their voices to end the company’s massive drone technology contract with the Pentagon.
Fast forward: Microsoft employees just sent a letter to CEO Satya Nadella urging him to break all Microsoft contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In their words: “We believe that Microsoft must take an ethical stand, and put children and families above profits.”
And two former Facebook employees (who now work at Pinterest and Airbnb) have raised $9 million and counting for RAICES, a Texas-based nonprofit providing legal assistance to families at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Corporations have sometimes pulled the rug out from President Trump’s worst impulses, like when CEOs departed en masse from White House business advisory councils in the wake of Trump’s comments on the neo-Nazi marches in Charlottesville.
With so much contemporary discussion of technology’s impacts on democracy, journalism, child development and community fabric, there’s no better time to channel the tech sector’s geekdom for good.
Call upon the leadership of your company to speak out against the Trump administration’s separation of children from their parents at the border. Encourage them to condemn the practice order publicly, and not just in an internal staff meeting or memo.
Do you work at Twitter? Ask your boss to stop enabling Trump’s abusive tweets. You can cite one of Twitter’s platform rules: "You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease."
Host a hackathon to reunite families. Neither advocates nor journalists have received assurance from the federal government that it is keeping track of separated families, or that will ever be able to reunite children and babies with their detained or deported parents. We need an app for that.