The world’s largest telecommunications company AT&T claims “standing for equality” and “making a difference” among its core values. A clip-on its website, entitled “We Stand for Equality with Our Words and Actions,” includes footage of people wearing “Refugees Welcome” T-shirts
But sadly, AT&T is making millions off of its work with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, at least $ 14 million so far this year to be exact, according to the government spending tracker USAspending.gov.
Vice News reported AT&T has been in business with ICE since at least 2008. But the amount of money it has received from the agency has grown substantially in recent years. In 2014, by comparison, the company only took in $590,000 from ICE.
Protests and boycotts against companies working with ICE escalated this summer as increasingly harrowing reports continue to emerge about the agency’s family separation policy, faulty and insufficient reunification plans, and inhumane conditions inside detention facilities, including denying beds, soap, adequate food, and medical care to detained immigrants.
Campaigns against GitHub, Amazon, Wayfair, have garnered attention online and offline. But while those and a small handful of other ICE-associated companies have faced pressure to cut business ties with the agency, AT&T has not been subjected to the same level of scrutiny.