On the “Values” section of its website, professional services giant Deloitte makes clear what kind of company it believes itself to be.
“We believe that nothing is more important than our reputation, and behaving with the highest levels of integrity is fundamental to who we are,” the company states.
One way to apparently operate a business with the highest levels of integrity is to make millions per year working with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the law enforcement agency heavily criticized by human rights organization for denying migrants basic human rights. Deloitte—one of the Big Four multifaceted consulting firms–has made more than $42 million working with ICE in 2019 alone.
Deloitte’s own employees called on the company to stop all work with ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in 2018, citing “moral objections,” after another consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, cut ties with the agency. At least 750 employees signed the petition, according to The New York Times.
Deloitte’s chairman and CEO, Daniel Helfrich, reportedly responded to employees by assuring them that Deloitte’s work “does not directly or indirectly support the separation of families.” Helfrich added that such work would go against the company’s values.
The services Deloitte provides ICE are mostly administrative management and general management consulting services, according to the government spending tracker USAspending.gov. But a report this summer by the news and analysis website Popular Information found that these services include "facilities management" and "detention bed space utilization and optimization processes."
In a statement to VICE, Deloitte reiterated what it told employees last year. “Our work does not support the separation of families at the border, which would be inconsistent with our values. We are committed to making a positive impact for our clients, our people and our communities,” a company spokesperson said.
Though Deloitte has faced criticism from inside and outside the company for its work with ICE over the past two years—during which time it has made more than $87 million working with the agency—the company’s relationship with ICE dates back to the beginning of the federal agency’s existence, as Deloitte itself proudly acknowledges.
“Our longstanding work for the Department of Homeland Security and its many components such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement dates back to its inception after 9/11 and spans multiple administrations and political parties,” the spokesperson said.
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