Sep 15, 2019 - Technology

76 arrested after ICE protest outside Microsoft store in New York

A total of 76 protesters were arrested after shutting down the Microsoft retail store in Manhattan and blocking traffic on Fifth Avenue on September 14

Protesters block traffic on Fifth Avenue outside the Microsoft store in Manhattan on Saturday. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Police said they arrested 76 people after demonstrators blocked traffic outside Microsoft's flagship Fifth Avenue store in New York City while protesting the tech giant's work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, CNN reports.

Details: A Microsoft spokesperson told AP the company closed the store for the rest of the day. Protest organizer Close the Camps NYC said in a statement that the sit-in was to demand that Microsoft stop "allowing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to use its technology in the racist campaign against immigrants and legal asylum seekers."

Why it matters: Per AP, there's been mounting criticism of companies working with ICE — including from Microsoft's own employees. In June 2018, more than 100 Microsoft workers signed an open letter calling for the company to sever its ties with ICE because of the Trump administration's hardline immigration policies.

The big picture: In June 2018, just before President Trump signed an executive order designed to end the practice of family separation, Microsoft said it was "dismayed'' by the Trump administration's family separation practices but defended its work with ICE.

  • In April this year, the Trump administration said in a court filing that it could take 2 years for federal officials to identify thousands of migrant children who were likely separated from their parents before the government began collecting data through its "zero-tolerance" immigration policy in April 2018.

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