Palantir, End Your Contract with ICE or Leave Seattle

Palantir, End Your Contract with ICE or Leave Seattle

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Northwest Neighbors for Ethical Technology started this petition to Palantir Technologies Inc

We are writing to implore you, Palantir Technologies Inc., to end your contract with ICE, remove their access to your technologies, and cease all work that is enabling mass for-profit detainment. If not, leave Seattle.


Since Palantir software became “mission critical” to ICE in 2014, at least 48 people have died in ICE custody.


Palantir has an office right here in Seattle. Seattle is a sanctuary city, and the ICE mission is not in line with the values of Seattle as a city or Washington as a state. Our own governor, Jay Inslee, said that “News that ICE will be conducting raids across the nation is alarming to many” (1) and has welcomed undocumented immigrants to our state.


Even if Seattle did believe in the values of ICE, and did not believe in the value and the safety of our immigrant neighbors, ICE regularly and unlawfully arrests the wrong people. A report in April 2018 showed that ICE wrongfully detained almost 1500 Americans, many of them for months or years before the issue could be corrected (2) . The most widely wrongfully detained group of Americans is children. ICE regularly wrongfully arrests children and holds them for months or years for no reason.


When people are held in ICE detention, the conditions they are held in are abhorrent. There have been reports of sending people to solitary confinement as the rule, rather than the exception, which the UN defines as torture (3). There are reports of rampant sexual abuse of children (4). Detainees are force-fed, another form of torture (5). Detainees, children and adults alike, are denied healthcare, and in some cases, this denial leads to death (5). The atrocities are many, because according to many specialists, including Boston University’s Elie Wiesel Center, these detention centers meet the standards for concentration camps (6).


We know that Palantir reported making over $39 million in contracts with ICE building software that ICE considers mission critical. Palantir makes the app that ICE agents use when they perform a raid. These raids have made you over $39 million, and when they pick people up, they do not take faceless strangers. These are your neighbors, your connections on LinkedIn, your friend’s partner, the person you see on the bus every day. These people are kidnapped, sent to concentration camps, and are tortured, because you are making it easier every day with the work you do for that to happen.


These are not the values we would like to hold in our community, in our neighborhood, in our city, in our country. We are begging you, as one community, as technologists and as your neighbors who live with and around you, to please have the human decency to stop writing the code that kidnaps and deports your neighbors. If you cannot come to your senses and hold your neighbor above a faceless, bloody profit, you are no longer welcome here.

 

 

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(1) Twitter status, Governor Jay Inslee  ( https://twitter.com/govinslee/status/1149445594533859328 )

(2) “ICE wrongfully detained nearly 1,500 Americans: report,” New York Post, ( https://nypost.com/2018/04/27/ice-wrongfully-detained-nearly-1500-americans-report/ )

(3) “Solitary Voices: Thousands of Immigrants Suffer in Solitary Detention,” The Intercept, ( https://theintercept.com/2019/05/21/ice-solitary-confinement-immigration-detention/ )

(4) “Thousands of Immigrant Children Said they were Sexually Abused in U.S. Detention Centers, Report Says”, The New York Times, ( https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/27/us/immigrant-children-sexual-abuse.html )

(5) “Rampant Abuses in Immigrant Detention Prove that ICE is Rotten to the Core,” ACLU National Prison Project, ( https://www.aclu.org/blog/prisoners-rights/rampant-abuses-immigration-detention-prove-ice-rotten-core )

(6) “Are ICE Detention Centers Concentration Camps?” BU Elie Wiesel Center, ( http://www.bu.edu/articles/2019/are-ice-detention-centers-concentration-camps/ )

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