Posted July 17, 2018, 1:32 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 17, 2018
Contact: Evan Greer, 978-852-6457, firstname.lastname@example.org
More than 20 organizations that are Salesforce customers, including Greenpeace, Fight for the Future, Free Press, IfNotNow, Jobs with Justice and OpenMedia, have signed on to an open letter released today calling on CEO Marc Benioff to drop the company’s contract with Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and cut all ties with the US government’s immigration enforcement agencies following widespread reports of human rights abuses.
“We are nonprofits, startups, and businesses that are Salesforce’s customers. The tools that Salesforce provides helps us achieve our mission. However, we are absolutely appalled that Salesforce is providing assistance to government agencies that are violating human rights. We cannot, in good conscience, ignore this issue,” reads the letter.
It continues, “If every company that has any kind of contract with these immigration agencies, immediately cut their contracts, it would make a huge impact and create enormous political pressure for these human rights abuses to end. Mr. Benioff, we know you really personally care about these issues and we implore you to listen to your conscience and show that you really care about immigrant families. As Salesforce customers, we urge you to cut your contract with Customs and Border Protection. We will not be quiet until you do.”
“Marc Benioff needs to realize that he can’t just write a check and tweet some excuses and expect this to go away,” said Jelani Drew of Fight for the Future, who helped coordinate the open letter, “Families are being torn apart. Human rights are being trampled. Salesforce has a contract with one of the agencies committing these atrocities. They have the power to do something about it. They need to decide right now which side of history they want to be on.”
The open letter comes after more than 100,000 people signed petitions calling on Salesforce, Microsoft, and other large tech companies to drop their contracts with ICE and Border Patrol, echoing demands from hundreds of employees at those companies. Protests have taken place at Salesforce HQ in San Francisco, and CEO Marc Benioff has been flooded with tweets calling on him to do the right thing.
Beyond tech companies, public pressure is growing nationwide for institutions to cut their ties with ICE and Border Patrol. Thousands of students spoke out and protested at Northeastern University, and one of the nation’s largest consulting and management firms, McKinsey and Company, already cut their ties, stating that they “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.”
Fight for the Future and other groups plan to continue pushing for all large tech companies to sever their ties with government agencies that violate human rights.