Since taking office, President Trump has been on a mission to crack down on immigration. He promised to increase and strengthen screening procedures for people trying to enter the country, calling this “extreme vetting.” The goal of these screenings is to maintain national security and decrease illegal immigration, yet his methods are more aimed at targeting and criminalizing immigrants.
Under this administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is planning to create tools that will make it easier to discriminate against and deport immigrants by searching through social media posts, location tracking and all other manner of digital activity. Since Trump's election, they’ve tried, unsuccessfully, to recruit tech companies to help them do this.
Recently, IBM came under fire for attending an informational meeting in July about the Extreme Vetting Initiative. According to Reuters, “ICE wants to use machine learning technology and social media monitoring to determine whether an individual is a ‘positively contributing member of society’.” They’re looking for big companies like IBM to help them build the tools needed for this kind of personal surveillance.
More than 50 civil society groups and more than 50 technical experts sent separate letters [...] saying the vetting program as described was “tailor-made for discrimination” ~ Dustin Volz, via Reuters
Corporations should continue to refuse to build the technology Trump needs to carry out this attack on immigrants. If we pressure companies like IBM in this manner, we can protect thousands of immigrants and their families.