Sep 15, 2019

76 arrested after ICE protest outside Microsoft store in New York

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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GitHub and Microsoft employees protest renewed contract with ICE

Anti-ICE protestors in New York City in September targeted businesses profiting from the crisis at the border. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

GitHub employees sent a letter to their CEO on Wednesday demanding the tech company drop its recently renewed, $200,000 contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, citing human rights concerns, the Washington Post reports.

What's new: Employees from Microsoft are circulating a letter endorsing their Github subsidiary to cancel the contract after GitHub CEO Nat Friedman stood by the platform's renewal with the government agency, Bloomberg reports.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Oct 10, 2019

Court blocks Trump from indefinitely detaining migrant families

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Federal Judge Dolly Gee on Friday blocked the Trump administration's attempt to keep migrant families detained long term.

Why it matters: This is the second time Gee has stopped the administration from trying to change or replace the Flores Agreement — a court order that prohibits detaining migrant children for longer than 20 days.

Go deeperArrowSep 27, 2019

Microsoft's surprising Surface event

Photo: Microsoft

With all the leaks ahead of Microsoft's hardware event Wednesday, it was hard to imagine the company had many surprises left to share. But, oh, did it.

Driving the news: Yes, the company launched the expected Surface laptop and a pair of Surface Pro tablet/phone hybrids. But it also previewed 2 other devices due out next year that few were expecting.

Go deeperArrowOct 3, 2019