Tri-Caucus Chairs Demand Answers from Google After Hiring of Former Top Department of Homeland Security Official

Nov 20, 2019 Issues: Immigration

WASHINGTON— This week, the Chairs of the Congressional Tri-Caucus – which represents over half of the Democratic Caucus and includes the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), and Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) – called on Google to answer for their decision to hire Miles Taylor as a government affairs and public policy manager. Taylor formerly served as Chief of Staff to then-Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Kristjen Nielsen. During his tenure as a top DHS official, Taylor weighed in on and helped implement immigration policies related to family separation, the Muslim Ban, and other policies that have been detrimental to immigrant communities. In fact, several of the policies enforced by DHS during Miles Taylor’s tenure have been vocally opposed by Google’s leadership  and employees.

The letter to Google was signed by Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Chair Judy Chu (CA-27), Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Joaquin Castro (TX-20), and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass (CA-37).

“Your company’s senior leadership has openly denounced Trump’s cruel immigration policies and many of your employees and customers agree with those sentiments. This recent company hire appears to contradict Google’s own moral and ethical values and completely disregards the concerns expressed by many of your employees and customers that value immigrants and human rights,” the Members wrote. “As one of the world’s largest tech companies, it is crucial that Google take seriously its role in practicing its values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.  We find it alarming when companies choose to reward and hire individuals that have played active roles in implementing cruel policies that target and hurt the communities we represent and Google is no exception.”

Full text of the letter can be found here.

Dear Mr. Pichai;

We are writing to express our concerns over your company’s recent hire of Mr. Miles Taylor, former Chief of Staff for then Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Kirstjen Nielsen. It is our understanding that Mr. Taylor joined Google in September as a government affairs and public policy manager[1]. In the last three years, the Trump Administration has implemented policies that have been devastating to refugees and immigrant families and have violated human rights at our border. We are deeply troubled with Google’s decision to hire someone from the Trump Administration that has defended the very same cruel DHS policies Google senior leadership has previously denounced.

During his time with DHS, Miles Taylor undoubtedly demonstrated his support for the Trump Administration’s immigration policies. Alongside Kirstjen Nielsen, Mr. Taylor oversaw the implementation of the Muslim Ban, family-separations at our southern border, and the new public charge rule[2]. There is evidence that Miles Taylor called for a more “tough” and “tailored” version of the Muslim Ban. In September of 2017, Mr. Taylor went as far as to recommend an updated policy to renew Mr. Trump’s Muslim Ban stating that the screening and vetting standards were “no longer adequate to combat terrorism.”[3]

Not only were many Americans appalled by these cruel immigration policies but even Google’s senior leadership and cofounders publicly denounced these policies. In fact, in January 2017, when the original Muslim ban was announced, Google cofounder Sergey Brin joined protestors at the San Francisco International Airport. Also in the summer of 2018, when the Trump Administration was separating families at the border, you tweeted, “The stories and images of families being separated at the border are gut-wrenching. Urging our government to work together to find a better, more humane way that is reflective of our values as a nation. #keepfamiliestogether.”[4]

Your company’s senior leadership has openly denounced Trump’s cruel immigration policies and many of your employees and customers agree with those sentiments.  This recent company hire appears to contradict Google’s own moral and ethical values and completely disregards the concerns expressed by many of your employees and customers that value immigrants and human rights. As one of the world’s largest tech companies, it is crucial that Google take seriously its role in practicing its values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.  We find it alarming when companies choose to reward and hire individuals that have played active roles in implementing cruel policies that target and hurt the communities we represent and Google is no exception. We look forward to engaging in a conversation with your company regarding our concerns with your recent hire of Mr. Taylor.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,