Big Media’s Fake News Narrative About Corporate America and ICE

Since the beginning of the Trump administration, the mainstream media have regularly carried stories touting woke workers whining about their companies’ business relationships with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). In 2018 the consulting firm McKinsey and Company canceled a contract with ICE, due to employee concerns. In 2019 Google employees protested their employer’s contracts with ICE and CBP. And, for the last several years, Microsoft employees have periodically complained about the tech giant’s provision of software services to ICE and other government agencies.

Given the massive American job losses triggered by the COVID-19 lockdown, one would expect this type of corporate virtue signaling to taper off. With U.S. companies regularly going bankrupt and permanently shutting their doors, it would seem only logical for any company with big government contracts to be glad for the work.

But that hasn’t proven to be the case. And the latest corporate mea-culpa-fest came via Axios on HBO, in the form of an interview with software development company Palantir’s CEO Alex Karp, who grudgingly admitted that he, on occasion, wishes he hadn’t taken a contract with ICE. (Of course, what that actually proves is woefully unclear. Human nature is such that most of us tend to experience occasional doubts about even the most positive, carefully considered decisions.)

It seems abundantly clear that the mainstream media wants everyday citizens to believe that corporate America is staunchly against immigration enforcement and in favor of open borders. The problem is, Big Media’s own data say that just isn’t so. As it turns out, the whole claim that working men and women in corporate America universally oppose immigration enforcement is just another example of fake news and the mainstream media’s loose relationship with the truth.

In September of 2019, online media giant Buzzfeed News used the Fishbowl app to conduct a survey of employees at six major companies “that have or had contracts with ICE or CBP.” And what the survey found supports anything but the prevailing narrative.

At all six companies, the number of employees who either strongly or somewhat approved of their organization doing business with ICE or CBP was equal to, or greater than, those who disapproved. Yet, no other major media outlets appear to have run that story, or even offered commentary on it.

The mainstream media may have lost its moral compass, along with any notion of truth. But the good news is that most American workers still seem to understand that doing business with Uncle Sam, while he tries to protect the American public and maintain our sovereignty, is neither immoral nor inappropriate. 

About Author


Matthew J. O’Brien joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016. Matt is responsible for managing FAIR’s research activities. He also writes content for FAIR’s website and publications. Over the past twenty years he has held a wide variety of positions focusing on immigration issues, both in government and in the private sector. Immediately prior to joining FAIR Matt served as the Chief of the National Security Division (NSD) within the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where he was responsible for formulating and implementing procedures to protect the legal immigration system from terrorists, foreign intelligence operatives, and other national security threats. He has also held positions as the Chief of the FDNS Policy and Program Development Unit, as the Chief of the FDNS EB-5 Division, as Assistant Chief Counsel with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, as a Senior Advisor to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, and as a District Adjudications Officer with the legacy Immigration & Naturalization Service. In addition, Matt has extensive experience as a private bar attorney. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from the Johns Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.

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