Salesforce employees protest company's work with US border agency

Their letter urges CEO Marc Benioff to reassess work the employees say makes them "complicit in the inhumane treatment of vulnerable people."

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Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is being urged by many of his employees to reassess the company's work with US Customs and Border Protection.

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Hundreds of Salesforce employees are objecting to their company's work with a US border agency amid a growing backlash to the Trump administration's work to separate some families who cross the US-Mexico border.

More than 650 employees at the cloud-computing giant have signed a letter urging CEO Marc Benioff to reassess the company's contract with US Customers and Border Protection, worrying that such work makes them "complicit in the inhumane treatment of vulnerable people." Salesforce announced an agreement in March to overhaul the agency's recruiting process and "manage border activities."

"We are particularly concerned about the use of Service Cloud to manage border activities," reads the letter, which was obtained by BuzzFeed News. "Given the inhumane separation of children from their parents currently taking place at the border, we believe that our core value of Equality is at stake and that Salesforce should re-examine our contractual relationship with CBP and speak out against its practices."

The letter goes on to urge Benioff to "craft a plan for examining the use of all our products, and the extent to which they are being used for harm."

The letter is part of the outrage the tech community has expressed over President Donald Trump's "zero tolerance" policy, which until Wednesday separated children from their parents when they cross US borders illegally. The move resulted in the US government sending thousands of children to holding camps around the country, images of which have sparked international outrage, even from within Trump's own party.

Bowing to the widespread pressure, Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order that reverses the separation policy.

The letter from Salesforce employees comes nearly a week after more than 100 Microsoft employees signed a similar letter protesting their company's work with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and asking the company to cease operations with the agency.

Salesforce said it wasn't aware of any of its products being involved in the Trump administration's family separation policy.

"We believe every human life has equal value and every person must be treated with dignity and respect. We are not working with US Customs and Border Protection regarding the separation of families at the border," a Salesforce spokesperson said. "And we are not aware of any Salesforce services being used by CBP for this purpose."

Regarding the letter, the spokesperson said, "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."

The CBP didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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