Consulting firm cuts ties with ICE

Consulting firm cuts ties with ICE
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A top consulting firm has reportedly stopped doing work for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after it was reported the firm had done about $20 million worth of consulting work for the agency.

The New York Times on Tuesday reported that McKinsey & Company declared it was ending its contract with ICE in a note from new managing partner Kevin Sneader to former employees.

In the letter, Sneader said that the contract had “rightly raised” concerns and that the company would not do any work that is “at odds with our values,” according to the Times.

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“Our support, which has ended, has never been focused on developing, advising or implementing immigration policies, including the child-separation policy,” Sneader said. 

Sneader added that the company “will not, under any circumstances, engage in any work, anywhere in the world, that advances or assists policies that are at odds with our values.”

The Times notes that the contract between McKinsey & Co. and ICE was not well known within the firm until the newspaper reported about the relationship in June. The contract was said to be for “management consulting services” for the agency’s Enforcement and Removal Operations division. 

The decision to cut ties with ICE comes as the agency faces increasing scrutiny surrounding the Trump administration's “zero tolerance” immigration policy.

The policy has led to thousands of migrant children being separated from their families at the U.S. southern border and has led Democratic lawmakers to question whether an agency like ICE is necessary. 

But the Times notes that McKinsey did not explicitly say that its work with ICE was ending prior to the publication of its story. The newspaper also reports that McKinsey's contract with ICE was modified three days after the Times's initial report. 

The Times's report comes at a time when McKinsey faces pressure for its role in a government corruption scandal in South Africa as well — one that led to the resignation of country’s former president, Jacob Zuma.

At least three other consulting firms, including Deloitte Consulting, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Booz Allen Hamilton, have advised ICE, according to the Times.