back to article Microsoft shoves US govt IT contract where ICE throws kids: Out of sight in a chain-link cage

Microsoft removed and then replaced a reference to its work for the US government's immigration authorities in the wake of a national outcry over a new policy of separating children from their asylum-seeking parents at the border. Back in January, Microsoft published a blog post that covered new contracts it had signed with …

  1. JohnFen Silver badge

    Microsoft is being reminded

    Microsoft is being reminded of the old saying... if you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft is being reminded

      But look at all the publicity IBM got last time.

      6 million satisfied customers (well none of them complained)

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

        Re: Microsoft is being reminded

        Nice one AC Godwin'd the second post. You must feel so proud.

      2. el kabong

        Those 6 million, they did complain

        but only for a short while, I mean they were not like those pesky customers who keep calling your customer service giving no one any peace.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doing the 'Right Thing'...

    Is always just a question of PR...

    Or 'Positioning'. Fuck Big Tech!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      'always just a question of PR'

      Its far easier and costs way less to just edit a Wikipedia article about Ethics. Think Orwell's Animal-Farm 7 ever-changing Commandments etc. When media eyes turn away, Google will go back to creating killer drones and Microsoft sectioning off kids.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: 'always just a question of PR'

        Its far easier and costs way less to just edit a Wikipedia article about Ethics. Think Orwell's Animal-Farm 7 ever-changing Commandments etc. When media eyes turn away, Google will go back to creating killer drones and Microsoft sectioning off kids.

        Well said. The motto of all corporations right now is "Profit is our most important product."*.

        *With credit for the original motto from GE: "In engineering, in research, in manufacturing skill, in the values that bring a better, more satisfying life, at General Electric, progress is our most important product.". Harkens back a bit to maybe a more consumer oriented time with less open greed.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    nothing to see here

    another story about how stupid america is and about how much it is totally fucking itself.... sorry heard / read it before. yawn.... hey look at that double digit growth rate in that asian country.

    Watching the clamour at the demise of the western world is so quaint.

    1. Mooseman Bronze badge

      Re: nothing to see here

      "another story about how stupid america is "

      No, just the muppets who support the current administration. And yes, the rest of the world is now pointing and laughing at you.

  4. John McCallum
    Mushroom

    Bible Quotes

    Isn't that the same excuse that The Republic of South Africa gave for it's use of apartheid. A Bullshite decision then and a Bullshite decision now.

    1. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: Bible Quotes

      Blessed be the fruit...

  5. PhilipN Silver badge

    Family unification has been a fundamental tenet of American policy and law since ..

    Really? Could our brethren over there explain WTF about the above claim?

    No, seriously I'd like to know.

    Or has the writer been watching too many Disney movies?

    As an aside, IAAFL and a cross-examining counsel would have a field day tearing a witness in the box apart over use of "fundamental", "tenet", "policy" and "law". Course the first question would be : "What was the tenet and policy before the Second World War?"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Family unification has been a fundamental tenet of American policy and law since ..

      Racial segregation?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Family unification has been a fundamental tenet of American policy and law since ..

      No clue on his 'fundamental tenet' blurb, but we really messed stuff up during World War II with the Japanese American internment camps. I'm fairly certain the 'tenet and policy' then had nothing to do with family togetherness.

    3. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Family unification has been a fundamental tenet of American policy and law since ..

      USAian here.

      "Microsoft is dismayed???"

      It's f*cking WRONG, and they should say so, with no qualifiers.

      Separating children and parents, locking the children in cages? I'm appalled, and any human being should be as well.

      Unfortunately, our elected representatives are taking some time to find their humanity, and as soon as they find it, they will begin to search for their spines.

      Trump and his directors of ICE, HHS and CBP should be up on Crimes Against Humanity charges at The Hague for this, but we all know that will never happen.

      Maybe a strongly worded letter from the UN?

      // so embarrassed to be a US citizen

  6. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Windows

    Progressivism Pumping Powerful Memes.

    This new "ICE literally tearing babies out of incubators at the border" meme, hitched to a Trumpwagon, has really been 'sploding during the last news-cycle.

    Why, there are now staged photos out there considered appropriate for use because it's to defend the truthiness of the heartbreaking situation: Desperate, kid-laden parents trying to get out of nice nation that is totally not a shithole (but sending people back would be too cruel by far) and who must be accepted because Emma Lazarus once wrote a poem about "bringing me huddled masses" and defending borders is practically Nazi except for that One Weird Nation who can do it with real bullets on civvies. And after all, Arizona and SoCal are already basically Mexican right now (and will definitely be in 20 years) anyway, so why bother?

    While everyone gives a rat's arse about children actually being separated from their parents in Yemen with the excellent kinetic support of the USUK and, yes, one would imagine, Microsoft software is seriously involved in that particular war crime.

    It's 2018 and we need a John Brunner icon.

    Bathed in his currents of liquid helium, self-contained, immobile, vastly well informed by every mechanical sense: Shalmaneser. Every now and again there passes through his circuits a pulse which carries the cybernetic equivalent of the phrase, “Christ, what an imagination I’ve got.“

    1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      Re: Progressivism Pumping Powerful Memes.

      I expect you're rather proud of your downvote count committed by all the snow flake generation offended by your truth and harsh reality. You give cynicism a bad name. Destroy all monsters? Wheres that mirror?

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: Progressivism Pumping Powerful Memes.

        @Geoffrey W: why do you think the downvotes are from snowflakes? Monster's truth is indeed his (hers). It's not Platonic Truth.

        1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

          Re: Progressivism Pumping Powerful Memes.

          RE "why do you think the downvotes are from snowflakes?"

          I don't. It's what on occasion Monster has said dissenters are.

      2. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

        Re: Progressivism Pumping Powerful Memes.

        You give cynicism a bad name.

        I thought that was my job.

  7. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    Meanwhile all over the country folks are having their children kidnapped by state agencies because those agencies believe that children allowed to walk a few blocks home from school by themselves constitutes neglect and deserves removing the children to foster care. Oddly life as a child when I was young was far better in terms of learning responsibility and being granted independence even though all the evidence points to it having been much less safe back then. Then again there wasn't someone screaming "stranger danger" every half hour like a cuckoo clock.

    Oh, this makes sense now because it's exactly the same thing. Who could be a bigger stranger than a person from somewhere else? Tariffs and immigrants is just stranger danger writ large.

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      WTF?

      And, nowadays, if you say you're English they put you in jail.

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        English? Realy?

        Is this snark or do you believe this to be true?

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: do you believe this to be true?

          "all over the country folks are having their children kidnapped by state agencies because those agencies believe that children allowed to walk a few blocks home from school by themselves constitutes neglect and deserves removing the children to foster care"

          As true as that.

          1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

            Re: do you believe this to be true?

            It must be true since as of 2016 there were 273,539 children taken into foster care with 437,465 resident as of 30 September 2016 and 250,248 exiting. Only about 1/3 were in foster homes with relatives.

            It is so bad in some places that some are calling for an end of CPS.

            Granted sometimes they just throw a parent in jail for letting a kid play or walk to the park alone or even for oversleeping.

      2. Jimmy2Cows

        And, nowadays, if you say you're English they put you in jail.

        I'm English, and so is my wife.

  8. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Because, if you want immorality

    ...just quote the Bible.

    Who stole America?

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Who stole America?

      That's easy : bigoted racists.

      1. Adam 52 Silver badge

        Re: Who stole America?

        Same as Britain then.

      2. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: That's easy : bigoted racists.

        You're just saying that because they attempted to wipe out the people who were living there before them!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    quoting Bible verse to justify it

    I had someone claim to be a Christian and against immigration the other day so I asked them if they had heard of the parable of the good Samaritan and how contradictory the two opinions are. That usually shuts them up. It's the 21st century do we really still have people trying to use the bible to justify their actions? If you can't justify your actions yourself then clearly you are doing something wrong.

  10. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Separating kids from parents ? Us Brits can shut up, oh, so can the French!

    The British immigration service is doing the exact same thing, worse, not only do they deport the children of British nationals, they also let the parent burn through thousands of pounds, literally, to get the kids back. This was on BBC Radio 4 the other week....

    There are multiple families where one spouse is British, the other, say, USian, with kids born overseas, where their kids were refused entry to the UK and subsequently deported back to the US. So think thrice before coming back to the UK if your spouse is non-British and you have kids born overseas, make 100% sure you have all the paperwork for your kids or they will be deported (Yes, even if you are female, where motherhood is easily provable, with all paperwork from overseas etc, etc, etc ... you need British-issued paperwork)!

    As for the French ... In the French police station at the Italian border one can read the following in the police station: "No deportation of youths if the press is present!"

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Separating kids from parents ? Us Brits can shut up, oh, so can the French!

      Whataboutery.

    2. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: Separating kids from parents ? Us Brits can shut up, oh, so can the French!

      The UK policy seems slightly different, in that we will attempt to keep at least one parent and children together. That seems to lead to us deporting children who, in themselves, are UK citizens. It also seems to lead to us splitting up families in order to deport one parent and the children together if the children do not have leave to remain.

      Would be amusing to see Meghan and any future Wales kids refused entry... should drive home the stupidity to the flag waving racists (although she was reportedly intending to do the family history test to get citizenship though).

      Theresa May, who instigated all these policies and fought for them through the Courts, really is a nasty piece of work.

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Separating kids from parents ? Us Brits can shut up, oh, so can the French!

        The UK policy seems slightly different, in that we will attempt to keep at least one parent and children together.

        In theory, maybe, not in practice ... or maybe the three people (different couples, from different backgrounds) who mentioned this on Radio 4 were dishonest ?

        The first lady on Radio 4 clearly stated that she was separated from her kids, had to call friends in the US to pickup the kids from the airport which was hundreds of miles away from the friend's house and take care of them while they tried to sort out the mess ... no, she did not think it would be a problem, nobody in his/her right mind would think there would be a problem moving back to the UK with your kids, if you are a Brit.

        Besides:

        That seems to lead to us deporting children who, in themselves, are UK citizens.

        Have you had a look at the clustfsck it is to get passports for your kids, when only one of the two parents is British, and kid was born overseas ?

        Akin to:

        If the child was born on or after the 11 March 2001 and before the 18 October 2003, the mother is British, and her step-uncle's best mate's right door neighbour was a bank manager between 12 March 1974 and 15 June 1975, the child is entitled to British nationality.

        You have quite a few of those for British mums ... if only the father was British, then it is much simpler, in short, born on or after 29 February 2004 or something stupid, of course not entitled, what did you expect, equality ?

        So, then you have kids of various ages where only one is entitled, how fair is that ?

        Why so complex ?

        What difference does it make where a child is born ?

        What difference does it make when a child is born ?

        What difference does the sex of the British parent make ?

        What difference does the job of the step-uncle's best mate's right door neighbour make ?

        What next, phase of the moon ?

        I think that if one of the parents has nationality x, kids should be entitled to the same - simple, no dicking around, saves a lot of paper and hassle. Worse case scenario, they have to give up the nationality they hold at the time of request, fine ... crikey.

        1. SImon Hobson Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: Separating kids from parents ? Us Brits can shut up, oh, so can the French!

          Not to mention the Home Office insisting on original documents being sent to them - and then routinely losing them leaving the applicant up the brown creek without a paddle. Even if the documents aren't lost, they (HO) can take ages to process anything - no, they don't appear to have a system where they check the documents and return them while they process the application.

          See https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/3547043

          Treasonous May has a lot to answer for - she was quite happy to put evil policies in place while she was in charge there.

          Icon for what the people responsible deserve.

  11. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    FAIL

    Have another quote

    Hey Stephen Miller and all you Trump sycophants, have you forgotten this one or don't you think it applies to you?

    Mark 8:36

    "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Have another quote

      For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

      On the other hand, if you have no soul to start with...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Have another quote

        On the other hand, if you have no soul to start with...

        Ah, americans then,

    2. Bert 1

      Re: Have another quote

      Have another one :-)

      ..."Too much sex and violence. Too shocking even for channel 4"

  12. dale321

    If we're going to encourage tech companies to stop working with unsavory government organizations

    Let's first ban working with the UN. I mean, with all the child rape and other coverups, this must be at the top of the list!

  13. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Trollface

    Trump in ICE instructional video...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUnhfvGdmmw

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Corporation wins contract to help deport kids, makes money.

    Corporation is embarrassed about contract to help deport kids, tries to hide mention, is caught out, still makes money.

    When I worked for $small_company that was borg'd by big blue, one colleague was bemused at the corporate history page on the intranet that seemed to have a dark ages between 1939 and 1945.

  15. Danny 5
    Devil

    South Park

    From what I learned from South Park, this is the American way of "having your cake and eating it too". They used going to war, while having a substantial number of people protest about it as an example, but this fits quite nicely as well.

    In public they shame those in power, but once the microphones are turned off, there's money to be made.

    Shareholders rule the world afteral.

  16. GIRZiM

    At last they said it!

    As a company 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's about time MS started making a bit more of a fuss about their humanitarian activities - they don't get enough credit for them.

    I don't know about anyone else but, every time I think of Microsoft, one of the first things that spring to mind is their two decades dedicated to working with the children of refugees and other immigrants, lobbying for this specific social policy to be enshrined in law.

    I've long wondered why they haven't made it more a part of their brand - they're just too modest.

    1. Patched Out
      Childcatcher

      Re: At last they said it!

      I'm glad my sarcasm sensor is working today. Have an upvote.

      1. GIRZiM

        Re: At last they said it!

        Heh. Likewise : )

        Re-reading it (after it was too late to change it, naturally), I did wonder if it weren't just a bit too deadpan - I almost fell for it myself and replied, accusing myself of being a rampant fanboi ; )

        But then I decided that, no, I'm not that good and that it was about as subtle as a pan-galactic gargle blaster.

        I'm pleased to see I was right - I'd hate for people to take it seriously to learn people were so retarded they took it seriously ; )

  17. FrozenShamrock

    Put the blame where it belongs

    This is not like a company making poison gas for the Nazis to use in a concentration camp. I doubt if the contract Microsoft has with ICE includes optimizing parent-child separation. This moral atrocity is the result of soulless, evil people in the Trump administration who simply do not see anyone who is not them as human beings. The White House Chief of Staff stated in an interview before this hit the fan that separating children from their parents would be a powerful deterrent to illegal immigration (heard it with my own ears on the radio so this is not "fake news"). This inhumane, un-American policy is a deliberate, intentional attempt to be as cruel as possible. This is the kind of thing you would expect from shithole dictatorships such as North Korea, oh wait, I forgot we are now big buddies with the Honorable Kim since Trump admires how his people stand at attention when Kim talks. The truly sad thing is that a recent poll found 55% of self-identified Republicans approve of the policy. This country is screwed, blewed, and tattooed.

  18. Popofla

    Disreputable media

    The Reg has turned into a "fake news purveyor with half truths only Stalinist and Maoist cultists could admire. The facts are this is the same policy the Bushes (yes Laura your husband) and Obama pursued (yes we have pictures). The law is in place to keep the kids safe from predator (like BBC hosts). Most of these people are not fleeing anything and just want to jump the queue (something I had to wait for). I see the hordes in France trying to get into Britain, are they not safe there? Grow up and stop being emotional chumps led by the propagandist at the Reg. Intellectual dishonesty is not an endearing attribute.

    1. FrozenShamrock

      Re: Disreputable media

      I will give a reasoned reply but you are obviously so stupid it will only be wasted on you. This policy has never been used by any previous administration, Democrat or Republican, Any claims to the contrary are as invalid as the pizzagate and birther hoaxes perpetrated by self-serving political hacks on simple-minded bigots such as yourself. It was developed by John Kelly while at the DHS and Jeff Sessions and implemented for the first time this spring; there are transcripts and recordings of the interviews where the policy was discussed, all given before public reaction became too hot to handle. Also, you do not need to separate children from their parents to secure the border; you can detain them together if you wish, the alternative is not to let them out free in your white, Christian (but, only certain kinds tolerated) nation. One of the biggest problems with politics today is the absurd belief that the only alternatives are the two ultra-extreme poles; there is a middle ground where the truth and good policy is usually found.

      1. Alphebatical

        Re: Disreputable media

        I believe there's a strict 20 day limit on the length of minor detentions(whether or not they're joined by their parents in the same facility), which means any case that takes longer than that will inherently result in family separation as the children now get put into the foster system. There also has to be some account made for human traffickers who use children to create a fake family in the hopes they'll be waved through in the end(and you can be sure these kids won't get the milk and honey treatment if the scheme isn't caught).

        The pieces are there, but there are definitely other ways to put them together.

      2. Popofla

        Re: Disreputable media

        Thank you for your comments. I agree that the law should be changed to allow children to remain with their parents if it can be determine that the adult is their parent. However you are just wrong about your assertion that this did not happen under previous administrations. See http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2018/jun/19/matt-schlapp/no-donald-trumps-separation-immigrant-families-was/. The difference is that the current administration is doing it in every case while previous administrations did it selectively. However those exact policies of giving a pass to most "families with children" created an incentive that has seen a 1000x increase in these type of cases. So it looks like the traffickers found the golden ticket, this caught the administration unprepared for the situation and how to handle it. The goal of the current policy is to reduce illegal migrates not to hurt families. Unfortunately the current law also prohibits children from being incarcerated with adults (for there own protection).

        Oh, I also agree with you about the problem with extremist in politics (Like people who call people stupid and make comments about their race or religious beliefs)

    2. GIRZiM

      Re: Disreputable media

      The Reg has turned into a "fake news purveyor with half truths only Stalinist and Maoist cultists could admire.

      I do hope you read El Reg whilst wearing gloves, dark glasses and a gas mask- you wouldn't want to catch communism or socialism!

      The facts are this is the same policy the Bushes (yes Laura your husband) and Obama pursued (yes we have pictures).

      Wow, so much political partisanship in such a small space (and in so few words too), but, as you've pointed out, that doesn't really matter: other people can be claimed to have been just as bad in the past, so whatever this administration does is acceptable and pointing and whining "I know I am but what are you?" are more than adequate ripostes - and to think there are some who say that our education systems lack intellectual rigour these days (tchoh!).

  19. DanceMan

    News reports have mentioned that no other countries separate children from parents, though a previous post has mentioned British examples.

    In WW2 French children of Jewish families were separated prior to being sent to extermination camps. I've seen the testimony repeatedly in a supplementary item from the French mini-series "A French Village" that MHZ Worldview uses as filler after the Euro dramas that fall short of an hour without commercials.

    Godwins hell. Any country that separates children from parents deserves the comparsion.

    1. myithingwontcharge

      Goodwin agrees!

      https://twitter.com/sfmnemonic/status/896884949634232320?lang=en (well did back then)

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