Immigrant Rights Groups to Mayor Pete: Return Donations From ICE-Enabling McKinsey and Its Employees

Dec 6, 2019
10:50 AM

Pete Buttigieg in 2019 (Photo by Gary Riggs/CREDIT)

Editor’s Note: The following media release was shared with Latino Rebels on Friday morning. In response to the letter, Pete Buttigieg has said the following to CBS News: “I don’t believe that anybody involved in that [ICE] effort has had anything to do with our campaign. And, and so, you know, that’s separate from anything related to us.” Later on Friday, the campaign released this: “Pete has been frustrated and disappointed with some of the decisions McKinsey made since he stopped working there nearly a decade ago, and he has called the work they did with ICE ‘disgusting.’ Pete is a strong defender of immigrant rights and is appreciative of the important work these organizations do. As a campaign that lives our values, we will not accept contributions from anyone who was involved in that project. We have combed through thousands of pages of documents that ProPublica obtained to ensure that we had never accepted a donation from any McKinsey employee who was named as being involved in this project, and if any were to donate to Pete, we would immediately return their donation.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. —  On December 5, Four leading immigrant rights organizations sent a letter to Pete for America, which urged the presidential candidate to return all contributions to his campaign from McKinsey & Company. This request comes after a New York Times story exposed McKinsey’s contract with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. It also comes as increasing public scrutiny has focused on Pete Buttigieg’s time working with, and ties to, McKinsey, including a New York Times editorial published Thursday.

Center for Popular Democracy Action, Make the Road Action, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada Action, and United We Dream Action understand that McKinsey’s recommendations to ICE have only served to support Trump’s mass deportation efforts, which target, abuse and even kill members of our communities. We also know that the next President of the United States must use her/his moral and executive authority to drive policymaking in a direction based on the vision of “helping people without hurting people.” This means that no presidential candidate should benefit from money from a company whose outrageous behavior goes against these values.

The four organizations have asked the Pete for American campaign to return all the contributions made by McKinsey employees by no later than the end of the day (5pm ET) on December 12. The full letter is included below.


December 5, 2019

Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Pete for America Campaign

Sent electronically

Dear Mayor Buttigieg,

As immigrant rights organizations, we are writing to urge you to immediately return all contributions connected to McKinsey & Company, a company that was revealed this week to have aided and abetted the deportation machine that devastates our communities.

On December 3rd, the New York Times published an article entitled “How McKinsey Helped the Trump Administration Carry Out its Immigration Policies.” The article highlights the deeply disturbing record of McKinsey & Company, including recommending dramatically worsening the conditions for immigrants in detention and fast-tracking deportations. The article explains, “the money-saving recommendations the consultants came up with made some career ICE workers uncomfortable. They proposed cuts in spending on food for migrants, as well as on medical care and supervision of detainees…” The article continues: “McKinsey’s team also looked for ways to accelerate the deportation process, provoking worries among some ICE staff members that the recommendations risked short-circuiting due-process protections for migrants fighting removal from the United States.” ICE’s own spokesperson noted on the record that McKinsey’s work had helped expedite deportations of immigrants.

The reports presents shocking and appalling evidence of complicity with the Trump Administration’s mass deportation efforts, which target our members and communities. And while McKinsey claims to have ended its relationship with ICE, it continues its work with Customs and Border Protection (CBP), an equally abusive agency that has played a similarly devastating role towards our communities.

We believe that all candidates for higher office—especially those who claim to stand with immigrants, like you—should immediately return any money from McKinsey & Company and its employees. Media reports indicate that your campaign has received more than $53,000 in such donations. We demand that you immediately return all of it.

Given the outrageous behavior in which this company has behaved, and from which your campaign is currently benefiting, we request a response to this letter by the end of the day (5pm ET) today, December 5th, stating that you will return all of these contributions by no later than the end of the day (5pm ET) on December 12th.

Center for Popular Democracy Action
Make the Road Action
Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada Action
United We Dream Action