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RAICES, Nonprofit Helping Migrant Families, Rejects Donation From Salesforce

A Texas nonprofit helping migrant families detained at the border rejected a donation from Salesforce because of the company's contract with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Wired reported.

RAICES (the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services) made headlines when it raised $20 million in donations to help migrant families following a post on Facebook by two former Facebook employees which went viral.

Salesforce offered RAICES a $250,000 donation, but the nonprofit said it would only accept it if Salesforce canceled its current contracts with CBP, Wired reported. But Salesforce declined to do so.

According to Wired, RAICES executive director Jonathan Ryan sent an email to Salesforce, saying: “Pledging us a small portion of the money you make from CPB [sic] contracts will not distract us from your continuing support of this agency. We will not be a beneficiary of your effort to buy your way out of ethical responsibility.”

Earlier this month, protesters in San Francisco asked Salesforce to cancel a contract that the company signed with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. . CEO Marc Benioff tweeted on July 8 that Salesforce did not work with CBP or ICE on separating families and that the company had donated $1 million to help migrant families that were separated.

"Salesforce is not working with CBP regarding the separation of families at the border. And we are not aware of any Salesforce services being used by CBP for this purpose,” the company told employees in an internal email.

But Ryan made the nonprofit’s stance clear in his email.

“When it comes to supporting oppressive, inhumane, and illegal policies, we want to be clear: the only right action is to stop,” he wrote. “The software and technical services you provide to CBP form part of the foundation that helps ICE operate efficiently, from recruiting more officers to managing vendors. While you justified continuing your contract with CBP by claiming that Salesforce software ‘isn’t working with CBP regarding the separation of families at the border,’ this is not enough.”

Salesforce and Benioff pride themselves on philanthropy. In its annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company says it “pioneered, and have inspired other companies to adopt, an integrated philanthropy model called the 1-1-1 model, which leverages 1 percent of a company's equity, employee time and product to help improve communities around the world. In addition, we have spearheaded initiatives to create a world where equal pay, equal advancement, equal opportunity and equal rights become a reality for our employees and the broader world.”

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