Dozens of demonstrators were arrested this weekend at Microsoft’s Fifth Avenue store in New York. The sit-in, according the “Close the Camps NYC” organization that coordinated it, was in opposition of the company’s contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the US government agency responsible for deporting undocumented migrants and keeping migrant children in cages at the US border.
But Microsoft’s contracts, which exceed $10 million, are small potatoes compared to the agency’s main suppliers. Over the past two years of the agency’s deals, some vendors have earned hundreds of millions of dollars supplying the agency with everything from private jets to tech support.
Most of these companies aren’t familiar to the average consumer—Classic Air Charter, for instance, is a Long Island-based private jet company formerly contracted by the CIA to ferry terrorism suspects around the world. Its current contract appears to involved facilitating deportations. The GEO Group and Core Civic are little known outside of correctional facilities: These two correctional-services giants run prisons and immigrant detention facilities around the country. Both have been the subject of civil suits over allegations of injuries to and poor treatment of prisoners.
Two more famous names on the list are Deloitte and Dell. The former is one of the “Big Four” accounting organizations, working for ICE in a consultancy role. Employees last year called on the company to follow the example of competitor McKinsey and end its ICE contracts. Deloitte’s most recent publicly available contract with the federal government dates from last month—a $9 million deal to support the so-called “Visa Security Program and International Operations.”
Dell Federal Systems, meanwhile, is the government subsidiary of Dell Technologies, with annual revenue of more than $10 billion per year. Its parent company is one of the largest computer companies in the world.
Given the nature of ICE’s work, it seems almost perverse that these contracts help contribute to the federal government’s goal to diversify where its federal contracting dollars go. STG International, whose $99 million contract entails supplying workers to the agency, is a “Woman Owned Business,” with CEO and founder Michelle Lee at the helm—it therefore contributes to the government’s goal of awarding 5% of federal contracting dollars to woman-owned businesses.
Businesses owned by immigrants or Native Americans are similarly prioritized: MVM Inc., which has been contracted to transport “unaccompanied alien children,” is classified as a “Minority-Owned Business” and a “Hispanic-American Owned Business.”