Unraveling immigration politics and Silicon Valley ethics with Jaclyn Friedman

TechCrunch | 7/11/2019 | Staff
jollyjetta (Posted by) Level 3
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Immigration may not seem to be a tech issue. But for Americans with some personal or family experience with the idea of separated families and/or concentration camps, it can be hard to see what is currently going on in our names thanks to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (better known as “ICE”) as anything less than the single most urgent moral or ethical issue in this country today.

This begs a disclaimer: I have Eastern European Jewish family roots in what became the Holocaust. I have a Cuban Jewish mother who came to this country by herself as a young girl refugee and was separated from her family for multiple years due to U.S. immigration policy.

Father - Myself - Piece - Words - Images

I am a father myself. This piece is personal for me, in other words. If you want to know whether I can be objective here, I would have to admit that seeing repeated images of thousands of children, as young as 4 months old, facing inhumane and abusive conditions in my government’s name and supported by my tax dollars, has been quite possibly the most morally disturbing experience of my life.

Still, given that I write specifically about the ethics of technology here at TechCrunch, is this topic “a fit” for this column? Well, “fortunately,” if not for me or any of us personally, then at least regarding my desire to write up ICE for this column: the Silicon Valley tech industry has a long and deep history of entanglement with undocumented immigrants to this country. And in fact, “thanks” to tech companies such as Palantir, Wayfair, and Amazon Web Services and their present-day collaboration with ICE and its concentration camps, tech and immigration ethics is very much a live topic for today.

Disturbing - Topic - Which

It’s also a disturbing and depressing topic. Which is why I’m hoping to...
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