This week on CounterSpin: “As a company, Microsoft is dismayed by the forcible separation of children from their families at the border,” the global tech company declared in a statement. “Family unification has been a fundamental tenet of American policy and law since the end of World War II.” The same Microsoft bragged a few months ago about ICE’s use of its Azure cloud computing services to “accelerate facial recognition and identification” of immigrants, though the post has since been altered to omit the phrase “we’re proud to support this work with our mission-critical cloud.”
The spotlight on the White House’s inhumane agenda on immigration and immigrants is exposing more than the devastatingly cruel practices in force at the border, but also the numerous big corporate and institutional players that are—often invisibly—enabling that agenda. And just like the agenda, the impact of these collaborations extends well beyond immigrant communities. We’ll talk about all that with organizer/advocate Tracy Rosenberg, executive director of Media Alliance and co-coordinator of Oakland Privacy.
Also on the show: The 2018 Farm Bill has been in the news mainly because of House Republicans’ vehement efforts to deny more people the roughly $1.40-per-meal subsidy provided by the SNAP program, whose participants are overwhelmingly children, the elderly and people with disabilities. Whether such punitive, evidence-free ideas make it through to the final legislation will certainly be a test of something. The undercovered Farm Bill affects a number of other things as well: crop subsidies, conservation and—big picture—our ability to move toward a food system that is thriving, sustainable and healthy. We’ll hear about that from Patty Lovera, assistant director at Food and Water Watch.