Amazon Is Reportedly Aiding ICE In Deporting Immigrants
Amazon allegedly made billions by providing technology to ICE.
October 29, 2018 at 3:20 pm
Amazon and other tech giants may be assisting with the deportation plan President Donald Trump's administration has been touting, according to a new report.
Nonprofits Mijente, Immigrant Defense Project, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG) and Empower LLC have facilitated the creation of the "Who’s Behind ICE?," a report that claims Amazon and other tech companies provide technology that helps ICE.
According to the New York Daily News, tech companies provide data analysis and cloud-based storage. Trump supporter Peter Thiel's company, Palantir, plays an essential part in detainment and deportation.
“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.
Data storage has been the central need for ICE. The more data that's collected, the more efficient the agency can track and deport. Alien Registration Numbers (A-Numbers) are typically used to do just that. Concerned nonprofits want to break this relationship to prevent Trump's administration from carrying out its agenda.
“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.”
Ars Technica reports Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been in contact with the Department of Homeland Security. Emails show the DHS is interested in Rekognition, AWS' facial recognition system. As of 2017, the DHS has been working with Amazon to implement artificial intelligence algorithms and predictive analytics to track and detain immigrants effectively.
“As we usually do, we followed up with customers who were interested in learning more about how to use our services (Immigration and Customs Enforcement was one of those organizations where there was follow-up discussion),” an AWS spokesperson said in a statement to the Daily News.
The Washington Post also confirms this. During a meeting in June, Amazon pitched tech that could help with ICE's investigations. “Industry outreach and building relationships with potential contractors is fairly standard within government acquisition,” ICE spokesman Matthew Bourke said.
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