SPONSORED:

Advocates start petition asking tech conference to drop Palantir as sponsor over ICE contracts

Advocates start petition asking tech conference to drop Palantir as sponsor over ICE contracts
© Getty

Immigrant rights advocates are encouraging lawyers and academics to demand that a group hosting a computer science conference remove the company Palantir as a sponsor because of Palantir's contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). 

The groups Make the Road New York and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ) have started a petition directed at the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) asking the group to remove Palantir as a sponsor of its Inaugural ACM Symposium on Computer Science and Law. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Make the Road and JFREJ are specifically calling on lawyers, law students and scholars to sign the petition, which had 227 signatures as of Wednesday evening. 

"Palantir decided to renew contracts...with Immigration and Customs Enforcement...an agency that the Trump Administration has unleashed to target, detain, and deport thousands of immigrants across the country," the petition said. "Palantir’s technology is a threat to our communities and we need your support."

Palantir was listed as a "silver sponsor" of the Oct. 28 symposium, as were Microsoft and Facebook. The symposium website noted that "donor organizations do not have control over the program" and that "acceptance of support from any donor organization does not imply explicit or implicit approval of the donor organization’s values or actions."

Palantir renewed its contract with ICE this year. Documents posted on the contract redacted its value, but copying and pasting the redacted section showed an amount around $49 million.

Immigrant rights groups have opposed tech companies' work with ICE.