About 50 protesters, including tech and labor workers, demanded on Tuesday that Palo Alto-based Palantir Technologies break its ties with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Protesters from a coalition of 15 immigrants' rights, tech-worker and labor groups and community organizations attempted to deliver a letter of protest to company CEO Alex Karp at 11:30 a.m. at the company's downtown Palo Alto headquarters, located at 100 Hamilton Ave.
Groups included the Tech Workers Coalition, Silicon Valley Rising, Working Partnerships USA, SEIU United Service Workers West, Santa Clara County Democratic Party and Sacred Heart Community Service.
"We are here to increase public awareness of the work Palantir does for ICE that enables family separation and other abuses of refugees and immigrants in our country, and we ask that you cancel your contract with the agency. Furthermore, we call on any and all employees of Palantir to demand that the company drop its relationship with the agency," the protesters said in the letter.
According to a June 20 report by NBC News, Palantir accepted more than $4.9 million from ICE on May 30, which is part of a $39 million contract dating back to 2015 for operations and maintenance of Falcon, the company's intelligence database, which tracks immigrants' records and relationships, NBC found in a government database search.
Other tech companies have also taken ICE contracts, including Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Thomson Reuters, Microsoft, Motorola Solutions, according to the NBC report. The protesters said that employees at some of the other firms have asked their companies to turn down ICE contracts.
Palantir employees locked the doors Tuesday. When the company didn't respond to a request to send a representative out to receive the letter, protesters taped it to the door, they said.
Bill James, chair of the Santa Clara County Democratic Party, said that it is time for Palantir and for the political, economic and government class of Silicon Valley to stand up to the Trump administration and decide that they will not be "complicit."
"Palo Alto is often referred to as the heart of Silicon Valley. We need a Silicon Valley with a heart, with true patriotism. Sometimes patriotism calls for companies to work with the government; and sometimes it calls for companies to stand against the government," he said.
In their letter, the protestors called the separation of immigrant families at the border "a national disgrace."
"The stance of companies and people on this issue will be a litmus test for their ethical fortitude going forward," the letter states.
The Tech Workers Coalition said in a statement: "The entire tech industry is complicit, and fighting it requires us to organize throughout the industry, across roles, companies, and borders."
Palantir did not immediately respond to a request for comment.