Amazon and other tech companies are raking in billions by selling services that aid President Trump’s deportation agenda, according to a report.
By MEGAN CERULLO | NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
The tech giant is among the Silicon Valley companies that provides technology to ICE that helps it track, detain, and deport immigrants, a group of nonprofits including Mijente, Immigrant Defense Project, NIPNLG and Empower LLC, concludes in its report entitled Who’s Behind ICE?
“It’s time to hold Amazon accountable for its outsized share in building the deportation machine, and demand that they stop. It won’t be easy — Amazon makes billions from these contracts,” Mijente said in a statement.
The report claims that Amazon and software company Palantir — founded by Trump ally Peter Thiel — both play central roles in helping the federal government carry out its immigration and law enforcement mission.
They are “playing an increasingly central role in facilitating the expansion and acceleration of arrests, detentions and deportations,” the report claims.
The federal government increasingly relies on policing through tech innovations — including big data analysis and cloud-based storage, according to the report.
The report claims that if they remain unchecked, tech companies will continue to develop systems that ICE uses to target immigrants.
“It is deeply troubling that at the same time these corporations characterize these services and products as business ventures that are free from bias, racism, profiling, and abuse, while being highly profitable.” the report states.
The nonprofits argue that “dismantling the lucrative relationship between tech and ICE” is essential to pushing back against the White House’s stance on immigration, claiming that ICE “cannot develop or operate its massive information systems without the technology industry and its products and services.”
Amazon and Palantir collect, store and manage the information ICE needs to expand its reach and meet expectations set by the Trump administration.
Amazon has transitioned from mega e-tailer to a broker of cloud storage space through its Amazon Web Services division which hosts the data-sharing systems the Department of Homeland Security relies on to “detect and prevent illegal entry,” according to DHS.
Amazon has the most federal authorizations to maintain government data out of all the tech companies, according to the report.
It serves as DHS’s database for immigration case management systems and stores biometric data for 230 million unique identities — including fingerprint and face records.
Amazon said Wednesday that it participated in a McKinsey Company-sponsored “boot camp” where Amazon Web Services discussed Rekognition, its facial recognition system.