A coalition of advocacy groups delivered a petition with more than 300,000 signatures to Microsoft’s Redmond campus Thursday. The signatories added their voices to a chorus of hundreds of Microsoft employees demanding the company sever ties with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Color of Change, Fight for the Future, Center for Media Justices, and other groups have been collecting signatures for the #CancelTheContract campaign. Microsoft’s relationship with ICE became a source of contention when the agency began separating migrant children from their parents this year.
Microsoft declined to comment on the petition.
In January, Microsoft published a blog post explaining how ICE uses the company’s Azure cloud platform to handle sensitive data. Over the following months, public scrutiny of ICE and federal immigration policy increased. In June, more than 100 Microsoft employees signed an open letter to CEO Satya Nadella demanding that the company end its contract with ICE.
Nadella sent a company-wide email to employees in response calling the family separation policy “abhorrent” and “simply cruel and abusive.”
“I want to be clear: Microsoft is not working with the U.S. government on any projects related to separating children from their families at the border,” Nadella wrote. “Our current cloud engagement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is supporting legacy mail, calendar, messaging and document management workloads.”
The two organizations continue to work together despite the backlash.