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San Francisco coffee shop owner turns down lucrative contract with tech giant over ties to ICE

A San Francisco coffee shop owner turned down a lucrative contract with a local tech giant because it does business with Customs and Border Protection, which oversees Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (Image source: KPIX-TV screenshot)

A local coffee shop in San Francisco refused a lucrative contract with cloud computing-giant Salesforce because the tech company does business with Customs and Border Protection, an agency in the Department of Homeland Security, which also oversees Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Nick Cho, owner of Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters, said his conscience simply could not do business with a company that works with ICE.

What are the details?

According to KPIX-TV, Cho walked away from a $40,000 contract offered by Salesforce. The tech giant wanted Cho to provide the coffee for Dreamforce, an annual convention that Salesforce hosts in San Francisco.

Cho told KPIX he made his decision after learning Salesforce does business with Border Patrol.

"Forty thousand dollars is a lot of money. We realize that would pay for our green, our raw coffee supply for two whole months. But our conscience isn’t for sale," Cho said.

"We realized that it was time to take a stand, make a statement," he added, explaining that the separation of immigrant families is not something he could "overlook" in good faith.

Cho is not the only one protesting who Salesforce does business with. Demonstrators have protested outside the company's San Francisco headquarters and more than 650 company employees wrote executives a letter asking them to cease business with the government's immigration enforcement agencies.

What did Salesforce say?

While the company did not respond to Cho's refusal to do business, company CEO Marc Benioff says despite opposition, his company will continue to do business with CBP.

Writing on Twitter, Benioff also said Salesforce has reviewed how it conducts business with the government.

One last thing…
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