-Anna Shea, Peacework Intern

 

This past week, Wayfair workers in Massachusetts walked out on the job to protest the company furnishing ICE detention facilities with $200,000 worth of furniture. This action has made people question what other companies and groups and funding and doing business with ICE. As we call on the government to close the camps and stop the deportations, we can also do work at the state-level to boycott companies that are known to be doing business with ICE. Here’s a list of several companies connected with Vermont that are helping to fund the detention centers at the border:

 

All information on how these companies connect to ICE (except for information of the Vermont State College system) comes from:

https://wearyourvoicemag.com/news-politics/companies-profit-migrants-detention?fbclid=IwAR3KKgsKjRqGBUsI5wLvR7gElE4o6jLPbKRFKF5CrwJRRzpugFupGchNqBE

 

 

  • The GEO Group, Inc.
    • What it is:A Florida-based company specializing in privatized corrections, detention, and mental health treatment.
    • How it connects to ICE:Two leaders in the private prison industry, GEO Group, and CoreCivic also manage the concentration camps and migrant detention centers throughout the U.S. and in 2017 they earned a combined $985 million from ICE contracts. Both companies donated $250,000 to Trump’s inaugural committee with GEO Group also donating $225,000 to a Trump Super PAC in the 2016 election.
    • How it connects to Vermont:The GEO Group, Inc (GEO) designed, financed, and constructed the North Lake Correctional Facility in 1999. The North Lake Correctional Facility (Michigan) provides correctional services on behalf of the Vermont Department of Corrections.

 

  • CoreCivic
    • What it is:A company that owns and manages private prisons and detention centers and operates others on a concession basis.
    • How it connects to ICE:Two leaders in the private prison industry, GEO Group, and CoreCivic also manage the concentration camps and migrant detention centers throughout the U.S. and in 2017 they earned a combined $985 million from ICE contracts. Both companies donated $250,000 to Trump’s inaugural committee with GEO Group also donating $225,000 to a Trump Super PAC in the 2016 election.
    • How it connects to Vermont:Vermont’s out-of-state inmate population moved to the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility private prison in Mississippi, which is operated by CoreCivic, the corporate prison contractor formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America. Vermont will pay CoreCivic $71 per day for each of the state’s roughly 200 inmates who are housed out of state, according to a Vermont DOC press release. There is room for up to 350 Vermont inmates in the 2,600-person facility in Tutwiler, Miss. The per diem amount will increase annually; the contract runs for a minimum of two years with an option for two more.

 

  • General Dynamics
    • What it is: General Dynamics Corporation is an American aerospace and defense multinational corporation formed by mergers and divestitures. It is the world’s fifth-largest defense contractor based on 2012 revenues. The company ranked No. 99 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.
    • How it connects to ICE: One of the largest defense contractors in the U.S. and according to Quartz, “The company may not have a role in border policy, but it does have influence in Washington. General Dynamics CEO Phebe Novakovic, who made $21 million in total compensation last year, is a former CIA officer, and the company spent more than $11 million last year lobbying lawmakers and executive agencies.”
    • How it connects to Vermont: General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems has a location in Williston. A business unit within the Combat Systems Group of General Dynamics, we are a world leader in the manufacture of large, medium- and small-caliber direct and indirect-fire munitions, mortar weapons and systems, artillery projectiles, bomb bodies, Ball Powder¨ Propellant, solid propellants, non-lethal products and Force Protection products. The company also manufactures precision metal components; provides explosive load, assemble and pack services for a variety of munitions, tactical missile and rocket programs; and designs and produces shaped charge warheads and control actuator systems.

 

  • Bethany Christian Services
    • What it is: A Christian adoption and foster nonprofit organization.
    • How it connects to ICE: The group fostered out at least 81 migrant children taken from their parents at the U.S. border and given the lack of government accountability, the move to place these children in foster care has been compared to state-sponsored kidnapping which falls in line with theS.’s history of stealing Black people, Black children from their parents, and indigenous children.
    • How it connects to Vermont: Bethany Christian Services has a location in Barre.

 

  • Microsoft
    • What it is: It develops, manufactures, licenses, supports and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services.
    • How it connects to ICE: They handle ICE’s data processing.
    • How it connects to Vermont: Governor Phil Scott today announced the state’s plans to enter an alliance with Microsoft to improve access to digital skills programing and computer science education and to promote rural broadband access, with the organizational support of Microsoft technology experts and partners.

 

  • Amazon
    • What it is: An American multinational technology company based in Seattle, Washington that focuses on e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming and artificial intelligence.
    • How it connects to ICE: In collaboration with tech company Palantir (owned by Trump supporter, Peter Thiel), Amazon provides its facial recognition software to the company which according to Gizmondo they had “heavily marketed its Rekognition software to police departments and government agencies. The technology can recognize and track faces in real time, and the ACLU noted that such a powerful surveillance tool could easily be misused by law enforcement.” Amazon employees sent CEO Jeff Bezos a letter in June 2018 protesting the decision to work with ICE and ICE contractor Palantir. “In the face of this immoral U.S. policy, and the U.S.’s increasingly inhumane treatment of refugees and immigrants beyond this specific policy, we are deeply concerned that Amazon is implicated, providing infrastructure and services that enable ICE and [the Department of Homeland Security],” they wrote.
    • How it connects to Vermont: In addition to shipping goods to the state, Amazon has announced plans to begin hiring several dozen Vermonters later this year for new part-time positions in Virtual Customer Service, a program that offers flexible work-from-home arrangements for customer service agents.

 

  • Comcast and Time Warner Cable
    • What it is: Both are telecommunications corporations providing internet, cable, and phone.
    • How it connects to ICE: Both Internet and cable providers supply ICE with internet access.
    • How it connects to Vermont: Xfinity (Comcast) and Spectrum (Time Warner) provide service in Vermont

 

  • Motorola
    • What it is: An American multinational telecommunications company.
    • How it connects to ICE: The communications company had a $3 million contract with ICE (from 2016 until March 2019) for a “core upgrade/GPS project/mobility project,” and they were also awarded a contract for a communications program totaling approximately $15.3 million.
    • How it connects to Vermont: The Radio North Group specializes in system design, sales, and service of Motorola infrastructure, portable and mobile radios, paging products, dispatch consoles, and custom communication solutions for Business, Education, Healthcare, and Public Safety across the state.

 

  • Canon
    • What it is: A multinational corporation specializing in the manufacture of imaging and optical products, including cameras, camcorders, photocopiers, steppers, computer printers and medical equipment
    • How it connects to ICE: Canon has several contracts with ICE that cover the cost of copier repairs.
    • How it connects to Vermont: Canon Solutions America has a location in Williston.

 

  • Dell
    • What it is: A multinational computer technology company that develops, sells, repairs, and supports computers and related products and services.
    • How it connects to ICE: Dell Federal Systems LP, which is a branch of the computer and software manufacturing company, has multiple contracts with ICE for software.
    • How it connects to Vermont: Dells has contracts to provide their goods and services to Vermont state and local government.