Palo Alto ICE contractor targeted for protest
With protestors blocking the front door, chanting, no one was entering or leaving the Palo Alto offices of Palantir during the noon hour Tuesday.
A coaltion of 15 groups representing immigrants rights, unions, labor and Democrats want Palantir to cancel its contract with ICE for a case management system.
Published reports say that contract is worth $59 million.
“It’s about their bottom line, and they want to make money,” said Maria Noel Fernandez from Silicon Valley Rising. “What we’re saying is that they can no longer make profits off the backs of immigrants and off community members and off families, kids, that are being separated from their mothers and their fathers.”
Two of the protestors were Miriam Betanco and her 10 year old son Alejandro. Speaking in Spanish, Mrs. Betanco said that ICE came to her Milpitas house at seven in the morning. Her son answered the door.
Alejandro said, “they said they need to look at his (father’s) car.” Then they took him away to a detention center in Richmond for a month. When asked if he had been very frightened, Alejandro responded, “I was really sad.”
Other tech companies, including Salesforce in San Francisco earlier this month, have been hit by similar demonstrations because of government contracts. Salesforce said it has a contract with U.S. Customs & Border Protection, but not with ICE.
Protestors did not get to meet any Palantir representatives but hope employees will urge the company to cancel its ICE contract.
ABC7 News did reach out to Palantir to see if it have any response to Tuesday’s protest. So far, there has been no response.
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