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CEO Satya Nadella Says He’s Against Family Separation But Isn’t Ending Microsoft’s ICE Contract

June 20, 2018, 10:16 AM UTC

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is doubling down on his company’s work with the Trump administration’s immigration enforcers.

On Tuesday, the company said it was “dismayed by the forcible separation of children from their families at the border” after a blog post about its contract with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) resurfaced. But the statement was not enough to assuage the concerns of Microsoft (MSFT) employees, and more than 100 signed an open letter demanding that the company cancel its multi-million dollar contact with the immigration agency.

Nadella shared his own views on the subject in a company-wide email Tuesday evening, which he then published to LinkedIn. In the email, Nadella maintained that Microsoft’s ICE contract dealt only with email, calendar, and messaging—and played no part in the separation of migrant families.

After noting that he is “appalled” at the “abhorrent policy,” Nadella wrote that he wants “to be clear: Microsoft is not working with the U.S. government on any projects related to separating children from their families at the border.”

“Our current cloud engagement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),” he continued, “is supporting legacy mail, calendar, messaging, and document management workloads. Any engagement with any government has been and will be guided by our ethics and principles.”

Nadella went on to highlight that the U.S. is a “nation of immigrants,” able to attract people from the world over and providing a “beacon of hope for those who need it most.” He also claimed that Microsoft “will always stand for immigration policies that preserve every person’s dignity and human rights,” though he stopped short of breaking the contract with ICE.

A source told Gizmodo that the signers of the protest letter found Nadella’s email to be “inadequate” and were dissatisfied with the company’s refusal to cut ties with ICE.