Motorola Solutions is a telecommunications equipment provider that was created in 2011, after Motorola Inc. split into two entities. It's now distinct from Motorola Mobility Holdings (which this week made headlines for releasing its $1,499 touch-screen flip phone) and has received comparatively little attention for its work. That's unfortunate, because that work includes contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
So far this year, Motorola Solutions has made $5.1 million working with the law enforcement agency behind policies like family separation, according to government spending tracker USAspending.gov. In exchange, the company has provided ICE with a radio communication service, software upgrades and maintenance for tactical communications, and various types of radios.
Under the Trump administration, ICE has come under fire for human rights abuses that include separating at least 5,400 children from their parents at the border and housing immigrants in unsanitary and unsafe conditions.
“Our approach to corporate responsibility is guided by three principles: operate ethically, protect the environment, and support the communities where we live and work,” Motorola Solutions states on its corporate responsibility page.
The page also says that the company works to “make cities safer and help communities.” Motorola Solutions did not respond to VICE’s request for comment.
In 2011, Motorola Inc. split its business into two companies: Motorola Solutions and Motorola Mobility Holdings—the latter of which is now owned by the manufacturing company Lenovo. While Motorola Holdings held onto Motorola Inc.’s mobile and consumer products business, Motorola Solutions took on the company’s enterprise and government communications. The companies have operated independently ever since but continue to share a logo.
Motorola Solutions, for its part, does not hide its willingness to work with law enforcement. One slogan on the company’s law enforcement page suggests Motorola can help “Take your police technology to the next level.”
Motorola has been working with ICE since the Bush administration founded the agency in 2003, well before the company split up. The company has also brought in more than $19.9 million this year providing similar radio services to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and works with police forces providing body cams and radio services.