Dismayed by forcible separation of children from families: Microsoft

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Washington, June 19 (IANS) Facing a flak over its contract with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — the agency that’s behind the forced separation of children from parents at the US-Mexico border — Microsoft said it was not working with the agency on any project.

In a blog post in January, Microsoft had described a contract with the ICE for its Cloud-based software Azure, saying Azure meets all security and compliance standards necessary to handle ICE’s most sensitive unclassified data.

“Microsoft is not working with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement or US Customs and Border Protection on any projects related to separating children from their families at the border,” the tech giant said in a statement late Monday.

“Contrary to some speculation, we are not aware of Azure or Azure services being used for this purpose,” it added.

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According to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families after illegally crossing the US border in April and May.

“As a company, Microsoft is dismayed by the forcible separation of children from their families at the border. Family unification has been a fundamental tenet of American policy and law since the end of World War II,” the firm said.

Microsoft has worked for over 20 years to combine technology with the rule of law to ensure that children who are refugees and immigrants can remain with their parents, it added.

The pressure is building on US President Donald Trump to act upon the family separation practice, who has squarely blamed Democrats for this situation.

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“We urge the administration to change its policy and Congress to pass legislation ensuring children are no longer separated from their families,” Microsoft said after people took to social media, asking the company to take a stand on the current immigration debate.



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