100 signatures reached
To: Stanford Students, Stanford University
Disrupt the Tech-Talent Pipeline! Tell Palantir to Drop Its Contracts with ICE: Stanford Students
This fall, Palantir has the option to cancel its contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency that has been unleashed under the Trump administration to target, detain, and deport thousands of immigrants across the country.
We the undersigned are pledging not to work at Palantir while it continues to do business with ICE. 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.
We call on the company to cancel its contracts with ICE and we call on all students to join us in withholding our talent from Palantir.
Why is this important?
Palantir sells two tools to ICE. The first, Investigative Case Management (ICM), is “mission critical” to ICE’s efforts, according to government documents, and was used at the border to investigate the families and sponsors of children who crossed the border alone. The operation, designed specifically to dissuade children from joining family in the United States, resulted in the arrests of at least 443 people over 90 days.
Its second tool, FALCON, is used by agents leading workplace raids, which increased by 650% during President Trump’s first year in office and arrest thousands of people every year just for being undocumented. During a raid in which ICE agents hit 7-11s nationwide, all agents were told to download Palantir’s FALCON mobile app for use during the raid. FALCON is used by agents who lead raids like those in Mississippi in early August, when almost 700 people were arrested en masse during the first day of school for many, leaving some children without either parent when they came home; at least two children were left alone for eight days because both of their parents were arrested and detained by ICE.
Palantir can cancel both of these contracts. Its ICM contract is up for renewal on September 20, while its FALCON contract is up on November 27. We know Palantir workers, academics, and a wide coalition of ordinary citizens from Latinx and Jewish groups have called for the company to drop its contracts, but executives have ignored these calls, calculating that it’s better business for the company to stay close to the government than to follow ethical considerations.
We hope they reconsider. There are dozens of schools represented by the students who have signed this pledge. All of us are committed to pursuing Palantir across our campuses. We will kick recruiters out of career fairs, protest company speakers on campus, and urge university administrators to drop the company’s sponsorship at every turn. At $tanford, we have already begun fighting back, and we won’t stop until these contracts are dropped.
We also want to add that we are not alone. Earlier this year, hundreds of academics pressured U.C. Berkeley to drop Palantir as a sponsor of a privacy scholars conference. In late August, Lesbians Who Tech dropped Palantir as a sponsor of its annual conference, citing its provision of services to immigration enforcement as the reason. Just two days later, the Grace Hopper Celebration, the largest conference for women in tech worldwide, dropped Palantir as a sponsor just hours after learning of its role in human rights abuses. As more of us learn about Palantir’s work and refuse complicity in human rights abuses, the company’s recruitment will decline and its business will suffer. Palantir will become a pariah, shut off from academia and computer science talent unless it decides to change tact.
Join us. If you are a student, sign below to tell Palantir you will not work with them while they build tools that enable human rights abuses. We have the leverage to change these companies’ policies. They cannot build these tools if we don’t work on them.
*** We, the Students for the Liberation of All People, are working with students and organizers across the country to demand that tech companies cancel their contracts with immigration enforcement agencies. You can read about our vision and campaign in our stop coding state violence platform (https://issuu.com/slapstanford/docs/no_tech_booklet_1_) and our student organizing toolkit collaboration with Mijente (https://notechforice.mijente.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Mijente_StudentToolkit.pdf). As $tanford students, we have unique influence as a key part of the pipeline to tech companies that aid and profit from deportation, detainment, and family separation. We believe that refusing to work at Palantir is one powerful step that we $tanford students take to collectively challenge Palantir’s critical role in ICE’s operations.
Art by Alejandro W. Poler