Biggish Blue, which claimed to have lost control of its German unit during WW2, is being urged not to develop technology to help the Trump administration carry out a proposal to identify people for visa denial and deportation from the United States.
IBM and several other technology companies and contractors, including Booz Allen Hamilton, LexisNexis and Deloitte attended a July informational session hosted by immigration enforcement officials that discussed developing technology for vetting immigrants, said Steven Renderos, organising director at petitioner the Center for Media Justice.
President Donald (Prince of Orange) Trump has pledged to harden screening procedures for people looking to enter the country, and also called for “extreme vetting” of certain immigrants to ensure they are contributing to society, saying such steps are necessary to protect national security and curtail illegal immigration.
The rights group said the proposals run counter to IBM’s stated goals of protecting so-called “Dreamer” immigrants from deportation.
An IBM spokeswoman said the company “would not work on any project that runs counter to our company’s values, including our long-standing opposition to discrimination against anyone on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation or religion”.
The petition is tied to a broader advocacy campaign that objects to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Extreme Vetting Initiative.
Christopher Padilla, IBM’s vice president of government affairs, cited the company’s opposition to discrimination in response to an inquiry about the vetting program from the nonprofit group Open Mic.
Padilla said the meeting IBM attended was only informational and it was “premature to speculate” whether the company would pursue business related to the Extreme Vetting Initiative.
Booz Allen Hamilton, LexisNexis and Deloitte did not immediately respond when asked about the campaign, which also highlighted their attendance at the July meeting.
ICE wants to use machine learning technology and social media monitoring to determine whether an individual is a “positively contributing member of society”, according to documents published on federal contracting websites.