Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
The war inside Palantir: Data-mining firm ties to ICE under attack by employees (washingtonpost.com)
133 points by Balgair 55 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 205 comments



It's kinda interesting how people are just now realizing that all the big tech companies are government contractors and not this imaginary utopia of 'making the world a better place' they were sold on.

Google, Amazon, Microsoft are all US gov't contractors. It's hilariously ironic seeing the political views of the employees suddenly clashing with their employers views of making money as if it's a new thing.


This isn't a new debate though...

My grandfather started a company which was a smaller player in the military contracting space.

It was somewhat large and his argument was that he was always 'helping democracy' but he was willfully blind IMO.

It's always going to be a bit fuzzy but it's another thing entirely when the organization you're selling to is just flat out evil.


Every tech company I've ever worked for has done a project, in some way, with the government. I worked for a small healthcare startup of 5 developers, we had government contracts. I worked for a medium sized dropbox-like startup, we had government contracts.

Unless you're some dinky, meaningless, retail company, you will do business with the government at some point. That's not a bad thing, it means your company is actually doing something important.


Google and Amazon get very marginal portion of their revenue from government, and reputation risks for main revenue sources likely discourage them in participation in shady activities with government.


Maybe I misunderstand Palantir's mission but working with LEOs like ICE seems to be their core business. All credit to these employees for standing up for what they believe in but what exactly did they think they were signing up for?

I have a new coworker who wears his Palantir t-shirt and it makes me uncomfortable to even see the name in my office.


There's a difference between supporting law enforcement generally and supporting specific law enforcement efforts. I personally want my local law enforcement to be fast and effective because I want them to keep me safe from crime, but I don't want them to violate my or other people's rights in the process of keeping me safe from crime. So, in that vein, I might not object to police gaining a specific new tool but I would object if I found out that the police were misusing it somehow.

The employees objecting to Palantir's work with ICE are probably not objecting to cooperation with border enforcement on the principle that border enforcement is immoral generally, but that recent activities by border enforcement are immoral. If it weren't for the internment camps at the border, we probably wouldn't be hearing about this.

There's a broader discussion about the 4th ammendment and Palantir's effect there, but I don't think that this particular protest is about that.


I also don't understand this. Seems like if you were willing to work for Palantir before this made news you'd have understood that surveillance tech to police depts, corporations, etc. is exactly what the company sells/enables.

I did have a recruiter reach out a long time ago and remember they did actually pitch the social good use case of helping law enforcement find and arrest criminals involved in child prostitution rings.


> they did actually pitch the social good use case of helping law enforcement find and arrest criminals involved in child prostitution rings.

That's sort of the crux of it - ICE wasn't supposed to be bad guys.

In fact, ICE could be heroes - they really could be, when they were breaking up trafficking and rescuing people out of criminal control.

Instead, they are tasked with tearing children away from parents and making orphans by deporting parents away.

I suspect there are people in ICE-HSI, who probably hate being lumped in together with the ICE-ERO.

The point is that the tide of public opinion on ICE would be different if the primary visible effect of them would be pulling women out of shipping containers and sending them to hospitals.

Justice might be blind, but justice without mercy has another name.


> I suspect there are people in ICE-HSI, who probably hate being lumped in together with the ICE-ERO.

This is definitely a real issue: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/6/29/17517870/i...


I had a recruiter reach out, and I actually played along with their interview process, but at every step of the way I’d inquire about the company’s ethics. Nailed all the tech questions, but in the end did not get an offer.

Maybe I didn’t do as well as I thought I did on the tech, or maybe Palantir recruiting is selecting for people who don’t ask questions.


>Maybe I didn’t do as well as I thought I did on the tech, or maybe Palantir recruiting is selecting for people who don’t ask questions.

My money is on the latter.

In "Winners Take All" Anand Giridharadas has a really good sentence where he points out how major employers usually try to find entry level hires who possess an ideal degree of intelligence and impressionability. The latter is just as important for them as the former. They want people they can mold to think and behave according to the values of the company.

In my personal experience, this is also why companies and industries that tend to have a lot of "lifers" are also often fairly toxic places to work. The people who came up and through the norms of the organization don't actually learn how to interact with normal people who don't buy into their idiosyncratic nonsense, don't seem to understand the concept of "standards" or "best practices," and often the idea that people might leave if they don't like how things are being done just doesn't cross their minds. So they take liberties with each other they shouldn't and do a poor job of forming consensus, actually caring about morale, or treating each other with professionalism or respect.

When people do leave, the narrative is usually framed as if they were too weak or soft to handle the rigorous and exacting standards of the company/team/manager rather than thinking that maybe thing are being run badly.


I definitely agree this can happen, and I've worked for a company where what you described rings all too true. However, I joined Palantir last year, and I genuinely don't see any evidence of the same kind of dysfunctional power dynamics.

During the interview process I asked a number of questions about ethics and transparency, and the interviewers responded positively and encouraged me to continue asking hard questions, which gave an impression it's a trait they valued.

After joining, I haven't seen any evidence of people fearing to express a dissenting opinion about either technical or ethical subjects. And I've personally witnessed a consistently high level of professionalism and respect, including respect and empathy for the protesters who want Palantir to sever all ties with ICE.

I don't think Palantir continues to work with HSI due to a lack of questioning, on the contrary, I think what's happened is that deeply questioning the ethical and practical implications of continuing or discontinuing contracts with HSI doesn't lead to such a clear-cut, black and white answer about what the right thing to do is.


To add another data point, I interviewed at Palantir and asked questions about ethics and transparency at every reasonable opportunity: during recruiter outreach, during the product presentation given to the group of candidates interview that same day, in my interview with the hiring manager, and with C-level person who did the final interview.

Each person I talked to acknowledged that the issues I raised were legitimate, and I still received an offer.


Ah, I never reached C-level interview. Perhaps my technical answers were not as solid as I thought. Or they’ve changed policies since then.


But people can change their opinions as new information becomes available to them. Also, organizations are dynamic and change over time. Willingness to work for someone yesterday is no guarantee of willingness to work for them tomorrow should they change for the worse.

20-30 years ago companies like Yahoo and Oracle were innovators. They had robust software engineering and R&D operations that could attract the top talent in the field. Now, not so much...


And I once had a recruiter from Axon talk about how body cameras could potentially help to hold officers accountable.

But it's good to always ask this question of any prospective employer: "who are [y]our customers?"

The customers are the ones who pay the company, and unless you're applying to work for a monopoly, they're the ones who ultimately call the shots.


I wonder if Palantir could help the FBI get a bead on Ghislaine Maxwell.

Hahah, just kidding, Palantir is for chasing down the hoi polloi, not the madams and child abducters who service the country's elite (who after all probably give Palantir a lot of its contracts).


The ICE thing has gotten dramatically worse recently. Accepting a certain level of abuse of power in other LE agencies doesn't necessarily mean they're OK with, say, actively pushing back against a DoJ settlement so they can hold children in detention indefinitely, etc.


Exactly. I think it's reasonable (although perhaps naive) for people to have a sunny view of law enforcement. Especially when, like me, they're white men from middle-class backgrounds; I've never had a bad experience with law enforcement, despite having done some stupendously dumb-ass things.

But even though I'm predisposed to view cops favorably, the stuff with ICE is shocking to me. America has a big chunk of history [1] where ethnic cleansing was common and ignored or even supported by police [2]. It's hard for me not to see ICE's aggressive dehumanization of non-white migrants as a resurgence of that. So I'm not surprised that even at Palantir people are objecting.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nadir_of_American_race_relatio...

[2] See, e.g., https://www.amazon.com/Sundown-Towns-Hidden-Dimension-Americ...


Over 50% of Border Patrol officers are Hispanic; 20% of all ICE employees are Hispanic, with much higher percentage (e.g. 40%) in subsets such as field agents in Southern California.


Since it's perfectly well established at this point that one can be part of a given identity class while still supporting or actively enforcing behavior that's discriminatory towards the same identity class (not to mention inhumane in other ways), this is pretty much a red herring.


[flagged]


I'm sorry to hear you may have experienced this.

But is it really fair to call it "Mexican" heroin? Is that a bonafide statement or an assumption? Lethal drugs don't explicitly come from outside the US, and in the presence of stronger border security the supply-demand curve would just re-balance itself with an all domestic supply.

Heroin has always been illegal. Illegally crossing the border has always been illegal. I view the "Mexican" claim as a scapegoat. One could easily make the argument that spending $5b on privatized drug rehab programs (instead of privatized-incarceration) would have the same or greater positive effects on the drug epidemic than a $5b wall. Or $5b in aide to regular police departments along the border (not ICE). Or $5b in aide to Mexican towns right over the border.

There are a million ways to skin a cat. If reducing domestic drug deaths is the goal, demonizing immigration is not the answer. Education and treatment are the answer. Mexicans are just a convenient target.


> Heroin has always been illegal.

Not wanting to stamp on any of your other arguments, but the quoted statement ignores historical facts.

Heroin was sold, and actively marketed, as a medication to calm overly active children.[0] Mommy reaching for a bottle of gin to calm her nerves is tame, compared to mommy handing out heroin to the little monster just so the darn creature would give her a bit of rest.

0: https://www.businessinsider.com/yes-bayer-promoted-heroin-fo...


Demonizing immigration?

How about simply enforcing the law against coming or staying here illegally while others wait in line?


I was responding to a specific comment where the OP insinuated that overdose deaths were caused by "Mexican" heroin as reasoning to support strict immigration enforcement.

I was simply pointing out that it is highly unlikely that he actually knows where the drugs came from and therefore it is an unfair assumption to blame Mexico (and Mexicans) for something that could have just as easily come from Spokane Washington.

Using the death of a loved one who killed themselves presumably by accident to pass any kind of law that isn't relevant to the circumstances surrounding the death is disingenuous. It's like if Mothers Against Drunk Driving wanted to close the Canadian border because someone might drink Molson beer and crash their car.


As I understand it, the laws of this country (US) do allow for people to come here (without a visa, etc) and ask for asylum. There's nothing illegal about that. The question is, while you are processing the asylum requests, how do you deal with the people waiting?

The current administration has decided to build detention centers/concentration camps/etc and keep people there and some of the press is pointing out to be rampant with abuse/inhumane conditions. In many cases children are separated from their parents while being held.


What does the one have to do with the other???

Undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers are fleeing terrible conditions in their home countries and trying to make a better living for their family here.

They're not the same at all as the criminal gangs that smuggle in drugs via a large variety of methods.


No border advocates can't pass a law ending borders so they try to demonize the people enforcing our rules.

Advocate for unlimited visas for anyone who can code. Need to drive down wages for developers.


Heroin has killed people I know. I still don’t think separating and caging families is moral.


I highly recommend the book Dreamland for more on this topic: https://www.amazon.com/Dreamland-True-Americas-Opiate-Epidem...


[flagged]


Personal attacks will get you banned here, regardless of how wrong or annoying some other comment is. Would you please review https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and stick to the rules when posting here?


Thanks dang, sorry about that. You’re right.


It is unfortunate that this has actually happened to you.


It's not illegal to seek asylum.


Likewise, it's not illegal to enforce the law, as created by Congress.


It is when you do it in the middle of the desert instead of a lawful port of entry.


Enforcing the rules that people have to obey to get and stay in the country. That isn't ethnic cleansing.

Plenty of people who are not white people come to the country legally every year.


ICE and CBP are targeting legal residents and even U.S. citizens, and attempting to deport them, if they are Hispanic. See for example:

https://www.gq.com/story/border-patrol-incarcerated-citizen

ICE and CBP have repeatedly violated U.S. law in their treatment of children, including violating the Flores Settlement (which carries the force of U.S. law), violating Constitutional due process and equal protection rights (ruled in Ms. L case), and violated the civil rights guaranteed under U.S. and international law, for example by refusing to provide hygiene materials and medicine.


If you are unable to see how recent rhetoric around immigrants fits historical patterns, I'm not sure how I can help you. Also, you talk about "the rules" as if they had nothing to do with America's history of racism, but historically it's pretty clear they do.

It is true that plenty of non-white people come legally to the US. But that doesn't mean that there aren't problems with how those people are treated, or that there isn't bias against those people involved.


>actively pushing back against a DoJ settlement so they can hold children in detention indefinitely, etc.

So they're horrible abusers if they separate children and now that they are trying to rectify that by keeping children together with family by removing the detention limit they too are abusers. What would make you happy then? The only alternative is open borders which is a non starter.


[flagged]


> If you're a citizen and you commit certain crimes you are separated from your children

The overwhelming majority of these cases are people coming to the border and requesting asylum. They passed a credible fear interview administered by CBP, and have been granted entry into the US pending their hearing. They have not committed a crime.


An interview that is easily gamed. If people self deported after getting all their hearing and being determined not to qualify for asylum there would not be as much of a problem.

Most of the people claiming asylum do not qualify for asylum, but once they are in the country it is hard and costly to find them.


So how do you propose to handle this in a humane and practical way? (separating children from their parents because the parents failed their asylum application is not humane, just to be clear)


A wall would ensure that far fewer economic migrants are backing up the court system that asylum cases must also go through, and resolve the facility overcrowding issue. The problem is not with the facilities (which are on par with other developed countries), it is with the overcrowding causing medical cases being unseen and abuse between detainees.

After conducting blood tests, up to 1/3 of migrant children were found to not be related to the adults claiming to be their family. It is for humane anti-trafficking reasons that the separation rule was instituted in the first place.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/defense-national-s...


>but what exactly did they think they were signing up for?

As long as there is sufficient plausible deniability, people will sign up for anything. In the tech domain, this goes back to at least WW2 with IBM selling punch card machines to Germany.


I am assuming ICE is "U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement". I am not from USA but why every comment here is implying ICE to be some evil thing.


> I am not from USA but why every comment here is implying ICE to be some evil thing.

Because there are reports of ICE doing inhumane things toward the people they have detained.

1) Children are being separated from families.

2) Children are dying under ICE facilities.

3) The jailing of asylum seekers.

These are the few things that lead many people to believe ICE is evil.

Where as the other side seems to be concentrating on the illegal immigrants.

It also come down to the morality of what they're doing and if this is similar to internment camp or concentration camp.


but none of these features are new, child seperation and children dying in ICE facilities happened under the Obama administration and it wasn't a big deal then. What changed?


>but none of these features are new, child seperation and children dying in ICE facilities happened under the Obama administration and it wasn't a big deal then. What changed?

Not really. Here are some things that changed.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/21/us/politics/fact-check-tr...


Source? Every news article I've seen shows that the problem is far worse under Trump.


I'm not sure about how much worse things were. But I saw a source from NBC that says it was not practiced under the Obama administration although they very briefly considered it.[1]

This was a quote I thought relevant, however because I don't think it was rainbows and unicorns under Obama either:

"The Obama administration did detain families together — some indefinitely — in hopes of deterring future migrants back in 2014, earning protests and public outrage at the time." [1]

[1]https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/immigration-border-crisis/...


It actually was higher under Obama - https://www.axios.com/immigration-ice-deportation-trump-obam...

>By the numbers: Under the Obama administration, total ICE deportations were above 385,000 each year in fiscal years 2009-2011, and hit a high of 409,849 in fiscal 2012. The numbers dropped to below 250,000 in fiscal years 2015 and 2016.

>Under Trump, ICE deportations fell to 226,119 in fiscal 2017, then ticked up to over 250,000 in fiscal 2018 and hit a Trump administration high of 282,242 this fiscal year (as of June).

Edit: I'm not saying I support Trump or ICE, my point is that Obama was hardly a leftist.


The parent comment claimed "child seperation and children dying in ICE facilities" was happening under Obama, implying to the same degree.

This certainly was not true and you have not provided sources saying so.


> It actually was higher under Obama

The rate of deportations wasn't the issue, the incidence and conditions of detention of children was the issue; the incidence of that was not as high, nor the conditions as bad, under Obama. But, even so:

> and hit a Trump administration high of 282,242 this fiscal year (as of June).

The federal fiscal years ends at the end of September, so “as of June” is 8-9 months of the year, depending on whether it's June 1, June 30, or somewhere in between, so it's on pace for 376k-423k, assuming a flat line throughout the year though continuing increase throughout the year might be more consistent with the year over year change. So, Trump started low in fiscal 2017 (which started under Obama and occurred largely while Trump was still getting people in place, with immigration policy focussed on fighting over the Muslim ban), and has rapidly reversed the deportation declines of the last 4 years of the Obama administration in the two years since, coming back up to a pace around or exceeding Obama’s peak year. So even if deportation numbers were the issue, your presentation would be misleading.


What does that have to do with the rate of kids dying in cages?


what is the rate of kids dying in cages?


Sorry, I don't support Trump or ICE. But it's dishonest to act like Obama was a leftist, this has been an ongoing problem for a while.


Total non-sequitur. Nobody is making any assertions about how "left" Obama is.


And so is your question? I was responding to someone else asking for a source on deportations being higher than Obama. Nowhere did I say I support holding undocumented immigrants in concentration camps.


> I was responding to someone else asking for a source on deportations being higher than Obama

Read again. Nobody asked that.


No, that isn't the question I asked. The question I asked was for a source to the claim that "child seperation and children dying in ICE facilities happened under the Obama administration and it wasn't a big deal then" -- which isn't remotely true. This problem is vastly worse under Trump. Obama was not doing this.


> But it's dishonest to act like Obama was a leftist

But the Right is the only place that that happens.

> this has been an ongoing problem for a while.

No, the family separation policy has not been going on for a while; the Obama policy was not to detain illegal crossers with children (absent some other reason for detention), specifically to avoid that, and not to force legal asylum-seekers away from standard border crossings to force them to be illegal crossers in the first place.

That's not too say that there weren't humanitarian problems at the border under Obama, but they weren't at the same level as those deliberately created by Trump policies.



Note that the article you linked is about CBP, which is not part of ICE.

Also note that ICE doesn't just enforce immigration laws, they also do things like this: https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/missouri-felon-indicted-se...

Officers executed a search warrant at Lee’s residence and found numerous firearms, ammunition, firearm suppressors, suspected methamphetamine, marijuana, suspected stolen farm equipment, and a large amount of cash. Lee told officers that he received 10 to15 past deliveries of the selector switches, and that he converted and successfully fired a Glock pistol as a fully automatic firearm.


> The superseding indictment resulted from an investigation by the following agencies: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Newton (Missouri) Sheriff’s Department.

I'd rather take the chance that those several other law enforcement agencies couldn't have worked it out on their own than have thousands of innocent families torn apart and kept in cages.


Is this an either/or choice? Does HSI have to not exist in order to prevent reprehensible treatment of migrant families?

Conversely, would eliminating HSI prevent such reprehensible treatment of migrant families? Wouldn't the abuses just pop up elsewhere, given the agenda of the current administration?


> Does HSI have to not exist in order to prevent reprehensible treatment of migrant families?

It sure seems that way. And people often forget that we didn't have these agencies at all before 9/11, and we did just fine. Metal detectors and stronger cockpit doors are well and good, but what we have are agencies that were created in a time of extreme fear, and have held on to fear as their guiding ethos.

> Wouldn't the abuses just pop up elsewhere, given the agenda of the current administration?

Maybe, I don't know. But the problem right now is they have an excuse. We're giving people license to commit whatever thuggish, nationalistic fantasies they want, all sanctioned under some vague "rule of law" argument where the letter has far, far outstripped the spirit. And what we end up with are goon squads harassing and imprisoning innocents based on technicalities. I don't think that sort of thing could persist at this scale without the pretense that these agencies provide.

I'll put it this way: I live in southern Texas. I'm who they're allegedly protecting. And if ICE were abolished overnight, I would throw a party.


> And people often forget that we didn't have these agencies at all before 9/11, and we did just fine.

ICE wasn't created out of thin air, it was formed by merging and reorganizing existing organizations including Customs and INS.

> We're giving people license to commit whatever thuggish, nationalistic fantasies they want, all sanctioned under some vague "rule of law" argument where the letter has far, far outstripped the spirit.

I agree this is happening and we need to do something to stop it. At the same time, I don't believe this is the only thing that's happening in ICE, as it's a large and complex organization.

> if ICE were abolished overnight, I would throw a party.

If that happened but the fundamental issue of nationalism and lack of concern for human rights was not addressed, I think we could end up in an even worse place than we are currently.

I'm not against abolishing ICE, but I don't think it's a solution in itself. The fundamental issue, in my opinion, is a lack of empathy and understanding for people who seem different, and it's happening on a large scale. I believe that is a much harder issue to tackle compared to restructuring our federal bureaucracy, but that's what we should be focusing on to make a real, lasting impact. Restructuring without addressing the underlying issue seems like a placebo that would do more harm than good.


> And people often forget that we didn't have these agencies at all before 9/11, and we did just fine.

Sure, the post-9/11 reorganization precedes the current abuses, but I don't see a clear argument that it is somehow fundamental to them. Border Patrol and ICE seem to be the main agencies implementing the problem policies; Border Patrol predates the reports, INS’s enforcement arm would have been in ICE’s role before, but I don't see why that would have made the situation better in an Administration with the same general policy organization.


>Because they do stuff like this

So one border guard does something, and it's okay to say "they do things like this"?

Isn't that exactly the argument Trump makes about illegal immigrants comitting crimes?


So can no one explain the logic here? CBP are bad, because some jerk did something bad in Montana. But you lose your minds when the crazy right says the same thing about Muslims or illegal immigrants? Are generalizations and stereotypes acceptable for policy or not? I can't keep up.



They could also let asylum seekers go, and allow them to live in the United States pending a hearing. That's what we've been doing until this administration. These aren't random people off the street, these are people with valid claims of asylum who have passed the credible fear interview administered by CBP. Almost all of them will stay in contact with the courts and go to all their appointments.

The editorial also neglects to mention that our facilities are greatly over capacity, that this change will make that much much worse, and that thanks to the backlog of immigration cases these families would have to be in these facilities for 5 years or more. To say nothing of the abuses and poor conditions.

And, once again, these families seeking asylum have not committed any crime, they have done nothing illegal.


75% or more of asylum claims from central americans are ultimately denied.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/03/world/us-asylum-denial-rates-...


Doesn't matter though, they are still not breaking the law.

There are a lot of factors involved in those numbers. For starters, immigration court does not provide public defenders. If you can't afford a lawyer, and can't find a lawyer willing to work pro bono, you have to represent yourself. Yes, even if you are a minor. And having an attorney, according to your article, makes it 5x more likely for your claim to be accepted.

There's also the fact that standards for being granted asylum can be arbitrary and not subject to proper review. Immigration judges work for the DOJ, not the judicial system, and are appointed by the Attorney General. The Attorney General also has fairly broad powers to increase the burden of proof for asylum cases, and limiting the circumstances in which an asylum claim is valid. The AG can also directly override the decisions of judges and deny asylum. For example: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/ag-barr-using-u...


>they are still not breaking the law.

Yes they are, illegally entering the United States is breaking the law.


Not according to Title 8 Section 1158, in the first sentence: "Any alien who is physically present in the United States or who arrives in the United States (whether or not at a designated port of arrival and including an alien who is brought to the United States after having been interdicted in international or United States waters), irrespective of such alien’s status, may apply for asylum in accordance with this section or, where applicable, section 1225(b) of this title."

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1158


That allows the alien to apply for asylum, but does not say anything about whether their act of entering the US was or not breaking the law.

We could entertain either or both of:

A. Entering the US is not breaking any laws, no matter the manner in which it is accomplished.

B. Applying for asylum grants an amnesty for the laws broken while entering the US.


It's (B), in that when applying for asylum things like illegal entry, including using fake documents or false testimony to gain entry, will not be held against you if your reason for doing so was to escape your persecution. See cases like Akinmade v. INS, Turcios v. INS, and Mamouzian v. Ashcroft


Assuming B, the intersection of set I = {people that entered the country illegally} and D = {people who made an asylum claim that was denied} consists of people that broke the law by entering the US illegally. Using fake documents / false testimony to make an invalid asylum request is extra damning. For the central american migrants at the border, this may well be more than 75% of them.


You're assuming people know in advance whether or not they have a valid asylum claim, and that the court case will determine perfectly whether or not a claim was valid. Regardless, the result of either illegal entry and having an asylum claim rejected is deportation, so the distinction is academic.


> They could also let asylum seekers go, and allow them to live in the United States pending a hearing. That's what we've been doing until this administration.

Granted, there have been a large increase in the number of people who skip their asylum hearings. From 2013 to 2017 this figure was lower, averaging ~44%. More recent samples put this figure in the 70% range and by some estimates even into the 90% range.

We could have ICE deport people who miss their hearings but ICE raids generate even more negative PR than detaining people at the border.


On top of that detention is the maximally cruel way to do things. IIRC something like 80-90% of people returned for their court dates under the old system where they were not detained anyways and even if you did think that number is too high there are other options like ankle monitors to ensure they could be tracked down.


> IIRC something like 80-90% of people returned for their court dates under the old system where they were not detained anyways and even if you did think that number is too high there are other options like ankle monitors to ensure they could be tracked down.

That is not correct. Even sites seeking to argue against the high rates of skipping asylum hearings put their no-show figures at 40-50%: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/06/26/how-many-...


>> they have done nothing illegal

Crossing into the US illegally is by definition illegal. Misdemeanor, to be exact.


I'll point you to Title 8 Section 1158, 1(a), as mentioned in other places in this thread. Asylum seekers may be excused for illegal entry into the US. An asylum seeker can even use a fake passport to get through customs to apply for asylum: see Akinmade v. INS as an example.


>They could also let asylum seekers go, and allow them to live in the United States pending a hearing

There are many issues, yes. Why can't you give the administration credit for fixing one of them? Why point to another problem and say, "but this isn't fixed yet!"


ICE's recent policy of separating children from their families and then holding them in inadequate conditions with insufficient medical care is starting to produce tiny coffins: https://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-migrant-child-border-de...


This article is about CBP, which is not part of ICE, and ICE is not mentioned anywhere in it.

I'm not raising this point to be pedantic or discount the tragedy. I just think it's important to have an accurate understanding of the organizational structure if one wants to make meaningful changes to it.


ICE is a recent phenomenon whose creation was only due to 9/11 attacks. Prior everything they did was handled by other organizations more effectively.


Before 9/11 nothing. For the last two decades, it's almost like cruelty is a requirement to work in that dept. USCIS and CPB are still alright though.


Recent, immediate politics bearing on the agency here aside, we like to philosophically separate ourselves from the government in discourse, rather than seeing it as one part of our own, singular, cohesive society.

see also:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_(pamphlet)

etc.


> Maybe I misunderstand Palantir's mission

nope - just WaPo's use of selective editorial bias to paint problems endemic to both parties & us society in general to partisan ends.


On one hand, I am grateful for this comment. But on the other hand, I know that it is a low effort comment that you are likely able to use on many a WaPo article.


I interviewed with Palantir maybe seven years ago (didn't get the job) and definitely wasn't aware at the time that they were doing this kind of work, if they even were back then.

And had I known they were doing CBP stuff, I may have been OK with it under Obama even. It wasn't until Trump got elected and immigration policy became explicitly racist and enforcement child-separationy and concentration-campy that I really started opposing it.


The article is about work with HSI, not CBP. The scope of work that HSI does is much broader, here's a quote from wikipedia about it:

HSI special agents investigate violations of more than 400 U.S. laws that threaten the national security of the United States such as counter-proliferation and export violations, human rights violations/war crimes, human smuggling, art theft, human trafficking, drug smuggling and trafficking, arms trafficking, document and benefit fraud, the manufacturing and sale of counterfeit immigration and identity documents, transnational gangs, financial crimes including money laundering and bulk cash smuggling, trade-based money laundering (including trade finance and Kimberley Process investigations), computer crime, including child exploitation, intellectual property rights/trade fraud, import/export enforcement, trafficking of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and other merchandise, mass-marketing fraud, and international Cultural Property and Antiquities crimes.


Counter-anecdote: I interviewed with Palatir 6.5 years ago (also didn't get the job) and was absolutely made aware that a core part of their business was in law enforcement at both the Federal and State level.


"This kind of work" means CBP and ICE stuff specifically, not just generic law enforcement. I was aware of the latter. The examples they were talking about were about tracking down financial fraud, which I am all in favor of. They weren't helping to put children in cages back then.


For many folks, "we do business with the FBI" and "we do business with ICE" are still different moral realms.


And ICE wasn't what many of us consider to be evil until recently, when Trump made it so.


Are you sure what ICE is doing is really all that much different and what’s instead dramatically different is your awareness of every even borderline thing ICE is doing now?

Just how familiar were you, or are you for that matter, with the full scope of ICE’s activities circa 2015?


ICE was not routinely separating children from their families back in 2015. They weren't putting kids in fucking cages. This false equivalence is nonsense.


Remember that first iconic, heartwrenching photo of kids in fucking cages that started to circulate on social media? It was literally a photo from 2014 that was being misrepresented from the Trump era - and it keeps happening. Apparently some Democrat congressional members managed to misrepresent other photos from the same set just last month: https://nypost.com/2019/07/10/house-dems-use-obama-era-photo...

No-one described those kids in cages as kids in cages until Trump was elected. From what I could tell, only one local news outlet even ran with that shocking, arresting image of a kid in a cage looking into the camera when it was actually news.


It's myopic to blame the enforcement of existing laws on Trump. Laws make it clear that stepping foot on US soil without authorization requires federal detention pending a court date. The court system is clogged due to the ease of entry and massive backlog. In early 2018 Democrats boycotted an opportunity to negotiate a change in the laws and build a wall. Despite all the criticisms of a wall, it is the only tool that would physically prevent and deter the majority of the 100k migrants stepping foot onto US soil every month, and thus solve the current overcrowding of facilities. Facilities that are on par with the rest of the developed world, if they aren't overcrowded.


> It's myopic to blame the enforcement of existing laws on Trump.

That's silly. It's clear, given the contrast between Obama and Trump on this issue, that the President has substantial leeway on how ICE acts in this regard.

> Laws make it clear that stepping foot on US soil without authorization requires federal detention pending a court date.

This is plainly false. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_detention_in_the_U...


How has immigration policy in the US become "explicitly racist"? Immigration law has essentially remained unchanged. DACA was repealed, but DACA was an executive action not partial to country of origin. H-1B denials have increased, but based on pre-existing requirements and quotas. Administrative changes in asylum rules and public charge requirements affect every immigrant regardless of country of origin or race.


Racist laws would be struck down, so it's not surprising that it's not explicit. However the political racist undertones are unmistakable.

https://beta.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-attacks-prote...

Regarding H-1B's, DHS almost made a decision to make many people on work visas criminals with a catch-22 situation because of the delays in processing H1 extensions. I wish I was making this up.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/stuartanderson/2018/07/11/new-u...


Remember the Muslim ban? That was racist. You know, for starters...


Banning visas from a list of failed states was not racist. You can say the rhetoric surrounding it was, but not the policy itself.


So if someone was to say, 'We're going to criminalize Marijuana usage because it'll predominately affect black communities' followed by a law that says 'Marijuana is now illegal' are you insinuating that the policy would not be racist?

Rhetoric in many cases informs policy and vice versa. You can't just say they exist in a vacuum when the reason why the visa ban occured was on racial pretenses.


Muslims aren't a race, the affected countries were about 10% of global Muslim population, and the countries of concern listed in the travel ban were designated in late 2015 under a different administration.


Albert Einstein said the same thing about the Bomb, after we dropped it


obama did just as bad things, most of these policies started under him. people like you just didn’t care



>> concentration-campy

Willful lack of proportion to score political karma points.


A great many expansions to the power of the state have been justified with the argument "this is to fight terror and child abuse"

Perhaps they signed up naively imagining they were working on a tool that would be used for that and nothing else?


It's definitely a weird company to work for if you don't believe in enforcing laws, or only partial enforcement of laws; especially border laws.


Well, the owner presumably doesn't think that most laws currently on the books should be enforced, unless I have missed something regarding right wing libertarianism.


Or maybe the fact that ICE has been overabusing their authority to also detain US citizens for weeks at a time despite providing evidence of their citizenship has got people wondering if they're the baddies. In addition to, you know, the horrible treatment of asylum seekers incl. things such as not providing flu vaccines.


Detainees are given provided food, shelter and medical treatment. Overcrowding can happen at time when you have a 1000 people at a time cross in a day at a single point. There are no cloud facilities.

What is your alternative?


>but what exactly did they think they were signing up for?

The last 15 years of big "tech" have been a giant collective rationalization that building mass surveillance is innocuous.

They think they're singing up to enable palatable use cases of collecting and analyzing that data, and nothing bad will ever happen. Just the same as anyone singing up to work at google/facebook/etc...


I’ve brought up my discomfort with Palantir to a recruiter a while ago and they said I’d be working with businesses trying to get set up with Palantir analytics systems. I asked if the role was distinct from one that might work with LEO and of course it’s not, so who knows how true that really is - I’m skeptical.


Palantir is a software company right and sells tools to ICE? Does someone wearing an Excel shirt make you uncomfortable because ICE uses MSOffice?

What about OSS projects like R and Python that also enable ICE to analyze data to find people.

Is the expectation that Palantir should not sell software to ICE?


So you think there is no difference in guilt between being a war criminal’s arm dealer and being a war criminal’s grocer?


ICE isnt a war criminal. They're a law enforcement agency


The similarity is in the fact that, like war criminals, they are committing acts that many would classify as crimes against humanity.


The hype and angst that some people are raising over fake news articles is reaching a fevered pitch. I don't think I've ever seen such a dichotomy between what the left and the right believe to be true.


I might be really uneducated here - I'm not American. All I know about ICE is that they're immigration and customs enforcement - they're basically the US's border force. The quality of the conditions they keep migrants in is poor, and has been for years.

OK. Why is that worthy of a boycott? Your democratically elected governments create the laws, and determine the funding for things like beds and toys etc. Boycotts in some cases may make those conditions worse instead of better.

There will always need to be a border force. Wouldn't it be better to focus on improving conditions, increasing funding, and stopping people from crossing the border in the first place?


ICE isn't the border force. All border security operations, stopping people from crossing and customs inspections and such, are done by a different agency called CBP.


OK. Why not change the law, if you want to make undocumented migration legal?


Most people trying to boycott ICE don't think undocumented migration should be legal. They just don't think ICE is a good agency. (Again, ICE is not the only agency responsible for undocumented migration, so undocumented migration isn't automatically legal if they can't do their job.)


OK but we're getting close to circular logic here. If ICE is not bad because it enforces border laws, why is ICE bad?


Indeed, Customs and Border Patrol are the ones on the border. ICE are the folks that find and deport people already inside the US.

Under the last administration ICE was only targeting folks who had committed serious crimes, but now they're targeting all undocumented folk. A lot of our economy actually depends on these people, as they tend to be the ones picking vegetables and working in factory farms, preparing livestock for sale - nasty jobs most people don't want. Trump's golf courses and hotels have also knowingly employed undocumented folk, but they don't do much to the people employing undocumented folks (which is actually illegal - being undocumented is not).

Oh, and we're a country of immigrants. (Except the native folk.)

See https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/03/us/politics/fact-check-ic... for a bit more detail.


It's a very interesting gradient that you bring up.

Most of us probably have no issue with the baker who sold Hitler his daily loaf of bread.

But many of us do have problems with Hugo Boss for designing Nazi uniforms, even though the design work would have been before most of the Nazi war crimes had occurred.

Does not resisting to the fullest of your ability constitute enabling evil?

Would you take Pablo Escobar's donation to build a children's orphanage?

Should gun store owners share the blame when a gun purchased in their business is used in a mass shooting? If you say no, what about if the gun is used in a mass shooting within 30 minutes of the sale and the shooter comes across as under distress, and the gun store owner is worried enough to call in a warning to the authorities.


A gradient is a gradient, mapping it's multiple values to just two: blame/no blame, will be problematic. In your gun store owner example, the blame itself has a gradient.


As for the donation, who is going to disagree with the idea of getting money out of bad hands and into good ones. What do you want to do otherwise, burn it? And that's got nothing to do with removing the Escobars of this world.


Plenty of people have issues with taking money from bad people.

Why did Bernie Sanders have to return Martin Shkreli's donation? Even if the donation doesn't buy any influence or soft power it allows the "bad" actor to clean their reputation.


Why did Bernie Sanders have to return Martin Shkreli's donation?

From a political perspective there is also the reputation cost to consider. Even if you're morally fine with taking "bad" peoples money, having to answer "why is Shkreli funding you campaign" all the time has a pretty big political cost, even if you have a perfectly legitimate answer.


>So you think there is no difference in guilt between being a war criminal’s arm dealer and being a war criminal’s grocer?

No, can you explain it? It sounds like a way to justify to yourself that "those people are bad", but you're "just doing your job". Are you principled about who you do business with, or not?


Most enterprise software sales aren’t as low touch as an Excel license, and Palantir is very much on the high touch side of the spectrum. When Palantir sells software to a large government agency, that means squads of Palantir employees go to the government agency and help them run it, and that consulting effort is a huge component of what the customer is paying for.

Having said that, some people do think Microsoft should refuse to sell to ICE too.


Is it not easy to see that there's a moral space between creating a tool that can be used for something you dislike (basically all software falls into this category) and working specifically for a company making software that will explicitly be used for something you dislike?


The difference is in Pro Services. MS does not send employees from Redmond to help ICE use Excel.

Palantir does bundle software and services. Their software is so complex, it is typically Palantir employees building the models and analytics.


MS has professional services and they do send people to ICE to help use Excel. They also have an extensive partner network. Any large software company sells consulting services. I don’t know about Python, but RStudio sells professional services to help with use of R.


> and they do send people to ICE to help use Excel.

source


The expectation is that companies like Palantir should not exist at all. Their core business is surveilling innocent people en masse.


That is not their core business. Their core business is data analysis. If I remember from some tech book, they were spun out from the fraud department in PayPal detecting fraudulent transactions and then selling services to FBI.

I became familiar with them through their disease prevention activities trying to evaluate bug transmissions and food borne diseases.

Certainly, you can analyze innocent people, but it’s not like they are a face recognition camera company or something.

I’m not employed by Palantir and not a fan or anything, but am surprised at how mischaracterized they seem to be.


> Their core business is data analysis.

This is like saying Raytheon's core business is antennas. Yes, Palantir does data analysis, specifically for ICE, the military and the police.


Palantir is private so hard to know revenue breakdown. But hard to believe that over 50% of their revenue (what I would consider core) comes from ICE, military and police.

I found this article [0] from 2018 that said half of its $1B in revenue comes from government and the other half from corporate.

So if every penny of government work comes from ICE and ICE-likes maybe that’s core.

[0] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-16/palantir-...


[flagged]


I believe Peter Thiel is a US citizen (previously a German and, more recently a NZ citizen) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Thiel


I think the expectation is that Palantir should make lots of money selling software to other people, and then a portion of their profits and employee's salaries is required by law to go to funding ICE anyway. That seems to be what everyone else is okay with.


> what exactly did they think they were signing up for?

It appears they're having an "Are we the Baddies?" moment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hn1VxaMEjRU


Maybe I'm the weird one, but who would wear a t-shirt from your previous company to work at your current company? That just seems to send all the wrong signals.


Doesn't seem that weird to me. Since landing in tech I haven't had to buy a single t-shirt- I just wear whatever they hand out.


I find it socially acceptable. It's quite normal to jump from one tech company to another, and wearing a t-shirt from a previous employer is an artifact of that lifestyle.

My hot take: I've always interpreted it as "street cred" thing. Getting a job at Google is difficult, for example, and wearing a t-shirt from your Google days could show intellectual pride.


> I've always interpreted it as "street cred" thing. Getting a job at Google is difficult, for example, and wearing a t-shirt from your Google days could show intellectual pride.

Pride here isn't a good thing.


To each their own. Pride in my decisions and my hard work is an important part of my self esteem.


It's also a way to flex. Same way people tend to wear alumni sweaters from Ivy League, Stanford level schools. I doubt you'd see anyone wearing an Infosys (or similarly viewed company) shirt in that kind of environment.


Right, but no matter what your past is, you are still at $currentCompany, not $prevCompany, so in that most important of ways you are exactly the same as all these other people you are trying to flex on. Why would I care that you used to get paychecks from a more prestigious company if yours are signed by the same guy as me now?


I do this all the time and nobody cares.


(stops wearing my JPL t-shirt to work)


I thought you work remotely based on your past comments??


seeing a t shirt makes you uncomfortable?


It's not just ICE but the entire government that is a problem. I personally stopped accepting any work from any government a few years ago. Once you realize what government is, there's no going back.

"The State […] is an anti-social institution, administered in the only way an anti-social institution can be administered, and by the kind of person who, in the nature of things, is best adapted to such service [a psychopath]. Taking the State wherever found, striking into its history at any point, one sees no way to differentiate the activities of its founders, administrators and beneficiaries from those of a professional-criminal class. As Dr. Sigmund Freud has observed, it can not even be said that the State has ever shown any disposition to suppress crime, but only to safeguard its own monopoly of crime." - Albert J. Nock in “Our Enemy, The State”


We should not allow the observation that some states collapse into lawlessness to turn into a blind "government is bad" attitude that ends with people being held hostage by government-sized private companies. The state can be lawless, but escaping lawlessness is impossible without the efforts of a state.


Well it's more the fact that government exists by the use of force and coercion, which makes it a violent and basically terrorist organization. And that is so dispite having laws. Laws != morality.


It makes me sad that so many people are unwilling to engage with this position. Anarchism is unreasonably vilified imo.


A big problem with anarchy is that it's really complicated and is usually either misunderstood by the proponent or the listeners. Anarchy is about levelling the playing field and reducing the power that the most powerful structures have in our society. The problem of removing power structures in institutions, is that they will naturally get replaced by other ones, and the replacements are often as authoritarian as the originals.

In the US, it's popular to think that you can somehow replace elected government (where power is somewhat dependant on votes, and somewhat dependent on advertising budgets/capital) with business (where power is dependent entirely on capital), and that somehow this is more "anarchist". This is a naive idea.


What is the alternative to having a government? If the current government was completely defunded, it wouldn't prevent governance entirely - we would just be governed by some private company or organization instead. How long are you expecting a country to survive without a government before some group of armed individuals take control of it again, this time without any form of democracy?


The alternative is of course no government. That is what the word anarchy means, no rulers. Larken Rose has a mini book out with nice illustrations, which discusses how we might live without government. Free download in pdf format: https://www.dropbox.com/s/yd18waixbva1jae/WhatAnarchyIsnt-FR...


Except that are plenty of examples where the state is a pro-social institution. Take Norway for example. Societies before states (i.e. prehistory) had much higher rates of homicides by all evidence collected.


Palantir's entire business is providing data mining and surveillance software to government agencies. ICE is probably the least-morally-reprehensible thing they support. They are deeply involved with DHS, CIA, NSA, all manner of classified agencies. If any of their employees have a problem with ICE, they never belonged there in the first place.


> Palantir's entire business is providing data mining and surveillance software to government agencies.

Palantir has a number of commercial customers, here's a few examples: https://www.palantir.com/palantir-foundry/impact/


>Its two main products are Palantir Gotham and Palantir Metropolis, more geeky winks from a company whose Tolkien namesake is a type of magical sphere used by the evil lord Sauron to surveil, trick, and threaten his enemies across Middle Earth. While Palantir Metropolis is pegged to quantitative analysis for Wall Street banks and hedge funds, Gotham (formerly Palantir Government) is designed for the needs of intelligence, law enforcement, and homeland security customers.

https://theintercept.com/2017/02/22/how-peter-thiels-palanti...


I'm maybe wrong, but I would like to share some ideas.

Where does this money is coming from ? I mean, does the whole question isn't a level "above" : why does such entity exists in a democratic gouvernement ? Isn't it showing a deep loophole in the system ? Same idea : how is this entity funded ? Isn't it with US-citizens's taxes ? So, aren't all US-citizens involved in this story as well ? Why would Palantir's employees be more involved than all the persons that allowed the money to be there for Palantir to be funded ?

I'm seeing more Palantir as a consequence of a system's failure than its premice.

Woild love to discuss about that however.


Uhh, but unlike other tech companies palantir’s core business model is violating the privacy of individuals to support the governments of many countries. Protesting your employer doing what it has always said it did is a bit rich.


That seems... odd? They're fine with the domestic spying, pre-crime profiling based on flimsy evidence, but help with rounding up people for the concentration camps and people suddenly get cold feet.


Palantir: hey dude want to work for a company whose job it is to help punish people, manipulate, and violate their privacy through big data?

Engineer: sure! Just as long as I'm not enforcing a national border that's where I draw the line!


If you replace "punish" with "control" I think that's an easily-extensible template, because isn't that ultimately tied to the personal ethics of the employee?

<Some Company>: hey dude want to work for a company whose job it is to help manipulate and control people by violating their privacy through big data?

Engineer: sure! Just as long as it doesn't violate this very specific aspect of my personal ethics!

That could easily describe Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.


The company is literally named after the magic orb that Sauron uses to surveil Middle-Earth. I don't know what you expected.


It’s not the Palantir that are bad, but Sauron and Saruman. They were created by elves for useful purposes.

Possibly the Palantir saved middle earth when Aragorn used it to scry events leading up to the final battles.


I guess this explains the "Defend the Shire" shirts I see Palantir employees wear sometimes. Always thought the idea they're on the side of the pastoral, mind-their-own-business Hobbits was one of the most absurd misconceptions of their purpose of any company in Silicon Valley, and that's really saying something.


Oh. Wow. That is insane. Photo for reference:

https://fm.cnbc.com/applications/cnbc.com/resources/img/edit...


I have one of these shirts (different color) and get favorable comments from LOTR fans periodically who see me wearing it in public. The front just says "Save the Shire", and it only says "Palantir" in smaller lettering on the back.

It's a pretty good shirt, just going by people's reactions to it. I'm just talking about the shirt in isolation though, not in the larger context of what Palantir the company does for their business.


That’s pretty funny, I’ve never heard of that shirt. I just remembered the Palantir as the coolest thing ever when I was 8 and read about it. Years later learning someone named that company that made sense to me before I had any idea what they did. Was actually kind of let down because I was expecting some sort of AI/ knowledge company.


Right, but they serve primarily as metaphysical vessels for surveillance, secrecy, corruption, and evil. Given Palantir's deliberate opaqueness and elitism, I don't see why we should grant them a charitable metaphorical characterization of their defining symbol, especially since the aforementioned values are the opposite of the "good" values (lucidity, order, and individual sovereignty) which form the backbone of ethics in Tolkein's mythology and the (Western) culture LOTR was written in.


To be clear: I also think that what Palantir is doing is deplorable. I just think that if you apply there, it's pretty obvious what you're signing up for.


Palantirs were created by elves if I am not mistaken. Sauron has stolen / acquired palantirs in battles but originally they were used by people like Gandalf or Elrond for communication. Somebody correct me if I’m wrong.


[flagged]


Wait, what?

Maybe I'm misreading this. Are you suggesting that what ICE is doing is good?


[flagged]


You and I have very different ideas of what constitutes "better."


[flagged]


So, building a wall would have exactly zero impact on the influx of refugees, and I'm not sure why that isn't brought up more often. Border Patrol is still required to hear asylum claims and grant the person entry into the US if they pass a credible fear interview.


We're talking about the detention facilities, not whether there should be a physical barrier on the border.


Making up a counter-argument and presenting it as if that was my suggestion is unethical and poor debate practice.

I will not participate in a discussion with someone who does this. Good day.


>Is your idea of better actual cages and thin mattresses on the floor but with the cool president instead of higher quality conditions but the crass president?

False dichotomy, intellectual dishonesty, etc.

How about abolishing inhumane practices, period? How about not trying to placate victims to abuse by saying "oh it's not so bad, at least you have real beds"?


Victims of abuse? Do you honestly believe that people that show up at a lawful port of entry are instantly put into cages while they wait? The people that were talking about are the people that got caught trying to cross in the middle of the desert. We give them food and shelter after they just broke our laws and you call that abuse?


Crossing into the US not at a lawful port of entry to apply for asylum is legal. According to Title 8 Section 1158, in the first sentence: "Any alien who is physically present in the United States or who arrives in the United States (whether or not at a designated port of arrival and including an alien who is brought to the United States after having been interdicted in international or United States waters), irrespective of such alien’s status, may apply for asylum in accordance with this section or, where applicable, section 1225(b) of this title."

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1158


Not sure precisely what point you're making, but it's possible that you're saying that the intention to apply for asylum provides you with legal rights to enter the US. That's not what the law says.

If you're not saying that, then what you wrote is not responsive to the person you replied to.


> the intention to apply for asylum provides you with legal rights to enter the US

Sort of, yeah. Check out Akinmade v NIS as an example: https://openjurist.org/196/f3d/951 . Akinmade entered the US with a fake Canadian passport to request asylum. He was granted asylum


Paragraph 8 from your link:

> The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) placed him in detention and commenced exclusion proceedings.

Yes, people can apply for asylum after entering the country unlawfully. No, that doesn't mean you get free reign of the country while your case is decided. Nor does your illegal entry bar you from applying or receiving.

It's notable though that the vast majority of asylum seekers illegally entering the US via the southern border are not refugees and do not qualify for asylum. This is easily seen by the fact that they are crossing from their home country into Mexico and not applying for asylum even though Mexico is largely a safe place to live compared to, for example, Honduras.


> that doesn't mean you get free reign of the country while your case is decided

Of course not, that's where bail hearings come into play. The state can't keep an asylum claimee detained indefinitely without providing due process and evidence this person is a flight risk.

>This is easily seen by the fact that they are crossing from their home country into Mexico and not applying for asylum even though Mexico is largely a safe place to live compared to, for example, Honduras.

Seriously? Mexico is hardly a safe place if you are trying to escape gang violence. Hell, the US currently has multiple travel warnings out against various parts of Mexico. The ACLU is currently filing suit fighting back against exactly this mentality.


How can they determine a proper bail for a person they are trying to vet in the first place? If El Chapo showed up I don't think he would care much.


It's not a false dichotomy to compare the two things that were explicitly compared. My initial response was to someone who said that Trump got elected and ICE started with child separation, concentration camps, and racism. The objectively verifiable items in that list are child separation and concentration camps. The reality is that under Obama both of those things started and in the years since, both under Obama and under Trump, the child separation continues, but the detention facilities have improved. When I pointed this out, the first response was "you and I have different ideas of better."

You are entitled to ask for a discussion of different policy choices, but the reality is that children were detained in shittier conditions under Obama than they are under Trump.

There's literally only two possible reasons why a person would think that the worse conditions is better. 1- the person preferring the worse conditions is stupid. 2- they want a club to bludgeon Trump with, even if that club is suffering children. Which do you think better describes bovermyer?

My post is neither a false dichotomy nor intellectually dishonest.


> Why would anyone prefer the shittier conditions under Obama than the better conditions under Trump?

Because there are no reasonable standards under which the comparative description in your comment is true.

_lflx 55 days ago [flagged]

I want to join Palantir just to disrupt their business because Peter Thiel is a scum sucker and deserves the absolute worst workforce. Palantir should be liquidated and the proceeds returned to tax payers.


Ok, but please don't post unsubstantive comments to HN, and especially not ragey unsubstantive comments. They just make this place worse, and we're hoping for better here.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


This is a big company profile for palantir with the "attackers" getting less than a paragraph. 60 people out of 2500 is not much and the article didn't mention who are they - so probably low level and easily replacable if they decide to quit or be fired.

Those types of articles under the umbrella of "some people on twitter are outraged about something" that give impression of society wide consensus when they are a tiny minority or widespread action are distorting the discourse quite a bit.

Also - they wanted Palantir to donate profits from ICE contracts, but they didn't donate their salaries.

I wouldn't go after Thiel. The guy has a habbit of winning.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: