A pro-immigration nonprofit has refused accepting a $250,000 charitable donation from Salesforce, despite that company’s staff supporting their work.
Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) refused the donation from Salesforce — a San Francisco-based cloud computing company that specializes in customer relationship management products — because it has a 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,” wrote RAICES Executive Director Jonathan Ryan in a letter to Salesforce. “We will not be a beneficiary of your effort to buy your way out of ethical responsibility.”
Salesforce’s role in CBP is that of technical assistance, offering the agency Community Cloud and Analytics for recruiting agents and support in the field “to drive efficiencies around U.S. border activities,” according to a press release on March 6.
However, RAICES incorrectly believes Salesforce was directly involved in the former policy of placing immigrant children in separate holding facilities from adults when they’re caught illegally entering the country.
Additionally, some of Salesforce’s own staff does not support the contract. Hundreds of Salesforce employees demanded on June 25 the company “re-examine” the contract and “speak out against” the agency’s “inhumane” practices. (RELATED: The Power Of The Protesting Employee: Big Tech Companies Are Being Taken Over By Low-Level Workers)
“We want our work at Salesforce to have a positive impact on our friends and neighbors, not to make us complicit in the inhumane treatment of vulnerable people,” the employees wrote in an open-letter to CEO Marc Benioff, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported.
Ryan still insisted that Salesforce is the “operational backbone” of CBP. “[A]nd thus does directly support CBP in implementing its inhumane and immoral policies. There is no way around this,” Ryan wrote.
Ryan said RAICES would accept the donation if Salesforce dropped the contract, but Salesforce did not terminate it after its own employees demanded it.
“One of the greatest things about being part of the Salesforce family is that we proudly foster an open exchange of ideas and dialogue. We’re proud of our employees for being passionate and vocal, and will continue the conversation on this and other important matters,” Salesforce told TheDCNF in an email on June 26.
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