Immigrant rights group rejects $250k donation from company with Border Patrol contract

Immigrant rights group rejects $250k donation from company with Border Patrol contract
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An immigrant rights group turned down a $250,000 donation from Salesforce on Thursday because of the company’s contract with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

“Pledging us a small portion of the money you make from CPB contracts will not distract us from your continuing support of this agency,” Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) Executive Director Jonathan Ryan wrote in a letter to Salesforce. “We will not be a beneficiary of your effort to buy your way out of ethical responsibility.”

RAICES, a Texas nonprofit, has raised tens of millions of dollars to support immigrant families separated at the border as a result of President TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE's zero tolerance immigration policies. 


Hundreds of Salesforce workers have urged CEO Marc Benioff to reassess the company’s contracts with the agency, but Salesforce has said it has no plans to do so.

Bloomberg reported that Benioff confirmed that stance in a staffwide email on Wednesday.

When asked for comment, a Salesforce spokesperson directed The Hill to two Benioff tweets from earlier this month. The tweets touted the company’s donations to organizations assisting separated families at the border and noted that Salesforce does not “work with CBP regarding separation of families.”

But RAICES said it was not enough that Salesforce is not directly involved in family separations.

“Your software provides an operational backbone for the agency, and thus does directly support CBP in implementing its inhumane and immoral policies. There is no way around this,” Ryan wrote.

He said RAICES would be willing to accept the donation if Salesforce dropped the contract.

Salesforce is not the only company facing pressure to drop a government contract. Over the past several months, workers at Amazon and Microsoft have called on their companies to end deals with the government and law enforcement.

Earlier this year, Google employees were successful in pressuring executives to end a Department of Defense contract for Project Maven, which dealt with military drones.