Ernst & Young Creates ‘Positive Change’ by Making Millions Off of ICE

The CEO of Ernst & Young, Carmine Di Sibio, says on his company’s website that the accounting firm’s central purpose is to build “a better working world” and “create positive change” for “our people, for our clients and for our communities.”

That apparently includes working with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which the company has been doing business with since at least 2006.

In the past three years, Ernst & Young, which officially goes by "EY", has made more than $8 million in exchange for providing ICE with leadership training, curriculum development, data management, and more, according to the government spending tracker USAspending.gov. Ernst & Young has received roughly $230,000 from ICE this fiscal year, but it made over $2 million working with the agency in 2018.

As one of the global accounting giants that comprises the “Big Four,” Ernst & Young doesn’t come close to needing money from ICE to remain solvent. The money it has received from ICE in recent years pales in comparison to its total global revenue, which increased by 8 percent in the most recent fiscal year to $36.4 billion.

The firm joins billion-dollar companies including Amazon, Palantir, AT&T, and Wayfair that are providing services to ICE. As ICE has increased its documented poor treatment of immigrants under the Trump administration, activists have launched campaigns calling for the boycott of companies like Microsoft and Amazon due to their continued work with the agency.

While a small number of activists have condemned Ernst & Young for its work with the agency, the firm has yet to become the target of a concentrated boycotting effort. But earlier this week, it did face backlash following a report that it held a training seminar in June 2018 in which women employees were told to conform to sexist beauty and behavior standards, including not making face-to-face conversation with men and wearing flattering clothing that wasn’t too revealing.

After news of the seminar went viral, the company issued an apology.

"This voluntary program, which was delivered to a small group of EY professionals, does not reflect EY’s values or culture and should not have been offered to any of our women,” a spokesperson from the firm told The Hill earlier this week.

VICE reached out to Ernst & Young multiple times to learn more about its business relationship with ICE, but did not hear back.

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