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back to article Chef melts under heat, will 86 future deals with family-separating US immigration agencies

Embattled Chef has U-turned and vowed to not work with two US immigration agencies beyond its ongoing contracts, following immense community and employee pressure. Chief exec Barry Crist on Monday told his staff that management has agreed not to renew its software supply deals with both Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good to know that they are not proponents of border security

    I suspect that the list of entities that they are COMFORTABLE doing business with is quite fascinating. A journalist would include this as part of the story. Here's one: Bank Hapoalim...financier of zionist settlements in Palestine. That took about 30 seconds to find. The Social Justice Warrior Sword of Justice really hurts when you stab yourself in the foot.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good to know that they are not proponents of border security

      Why would you say that? You don't have to think the borders should be wide open to think that separating young children from their families is wrong. The two are barely related.

      It's perfectly possible for the richest nation in the world to keep kids out of concentration camps.

      Maybe if the USA was actually focussing on trying to secure the border rather than pissing money away on a ridiculous wall you wouldn't sound so hollow.

      1. NonyaDB

        Re: Good to know that they are not proponents of border security

        Where were your protests when Obama initiated children-in-cages?

        1. Eecahmap

          Re: Good to know that they are not proponents of border security

          Your response is a diversionary tactic known, among other names, as whataboutism.

          We see through it.

          1. Ghostman

            Re: Good to know that they are not proponents of border security

            Exactly! What about when OBAMA set up the immigration policies you are fussing about. Why didn't he/you protest when Obama had the children put in cages? Why didn't he/you protest when Obama started the separation policies? Don't blame Trump. Blame Obama.

            You don't research who started what, you just go along with the "what can we blame Trump for today" crew.

            1. Mattmattic

              Re: Good to know that they are not proponents of border security

              Yeah! But Obama was... duh... Orange Man Baaaad!

              Moral relativism. It's not smart, nor is it right.

  2. Bendacious

    All's well that ends well?

    The charitable donation seems like a nice touch. I'm not sure if it completely makes up for the whole mess but it does seem contrite. For some reason it is the fact they took authorship of Vargo's code, however briefly, that really bothers me. Seems to speak to the character of Chef and not in a good way.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All's well that ends well?

      So it's a ding on their character that they did what they needed to do, allowably within the license, to protect folks downstream when a rogue dev threw the toys out of the pram because he was opposed to national sovereignty and national security? I'm happy that I don't understand how such a position could possibly seem logical.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: All's well that ends well?

        Removing the previous attribution was specifically forbidden by the licence terms. So no, it was not "allowably within the license".

      2. jilocasin

        Re: All's well that ends well?

        I don't believe;

        "...he was opposed to national sovereignty and national security?"

        I think it was more the flagrant human rights abuses, especially those involving children.

        1. SundogUK Silver badge

          Re: All's well that ends well?

          There are no human rights abuses; if there were, there would be court cases all over. It isn't happening.

          1. SolidSquid

            Re: All's well that ends well?

            Court cases take time to start up, and given the cases would need to be brought in the US it's difficult for those who can demonstrate they were harmed by it to bring a case, given they've likely already been deported by the time it would go to court

          2. Amentheist

            Re: All's well that ends well?

            Yeah like all those court cases cropped up as soon some bosnian serb soldiers rounded up men and boys around 1995

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: All's well that ends well?

        sovereignty? You really think Mexicans are taking over America?

        Security? Even when adjusting for the amount of people, more crimes are committed by American citizens, and that's before considering the alt-right white racist terrorists.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Cynics View.

    Any bets they WILL sell - after they think everyone has forgotten??

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Screw Chef

    As a sysadmin and devops engineer I will NEVER use Chef again. This is blatant, uncalled for political SJW crap that has no place whatsoever in professional conduct. By the way, there's a solution to people in detainment at the border - don't enter the country illegally. Problem solved. Stop blaming law enforcement for doing their job.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      "don't enter the country illegally"

      Dude, it's completely legal to claim asylum at the US border.


      1. Qumefox

        Re: "don't enter the country illegally"

        And it's perfectly legal for the USA to deny granting asylum as well for applicants that are unable to demonstrate that they meet the definition of a refugee, which few illegal aliens do. Which is why they attempt to sneak in rather than seeking out border patrol and formally requesting asylum in the first place.

        I don't agree with the separating families part of it. But I also don't agree with people illegally entering the country either. If they want to immigrate. There's a process for that, and just showing up without warning and expecting to be let in isn't it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "don't enter the country illegally"

          Hi Qumefox, Which generation illegal alien are you?

        2. jilocasin

          Re: "don't enter the country illegally"


          "...and just showing up without warning and expecting to be let in isn't it."

          It exactly is. Many courts have said so before and continue to say so. The most recent was when Trump unilaterally declared that the *only* place to claim asylm would be at border crossing points. The law itself states that you must be *physically present in the United States to apply for asylm* which is why you can't do so at an embassy or consulate.

          This has a long and proud tradition dating back at least as far as the Cuban "wet foot / dry foot" policy if not before. During the mass Cuban exodus there was a policy that as long as a Cuban trying to enter the country hadn't stepped onto 'dry land' they could be turned back, but the moment they no longer had 'wet feet' they could claim asylm. They kind of have to as that's how the law's written.

          1. herman Silver badge

            Re: "don't enter the country illegally"

            The law also says that a refugee has to request asylum in the first safe country to reach. These people travel through 5 countries before getting to the US. Since both Canada and Mexico are safe countries, a refugee has to come to the US by boat or aircraft if they want to claim asylum.

            1. jilocasin

              Re: "don't enter the country illegally"

              Once again, you aren't letting facts get in the way of your arguments. Mexico *isn't* legally a _safe_ country (no surprise there) and they would have had to walk all the way across the United States to get to Canada. According to your own logic, it would be illegal for them to apply for asylm in Canada having reached the 'safe country' of the United States first.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "don't enter the country illegally"

                The US Supreme Court ruling on 9/10 disagrees regarding Mexico. It is a democratic country.

                Children of asylum seekers have not been separated for some months. Most of what you're seeing on the news today is those children who were sent across the border by their parents, but the parents stayed behind.

                1. Mattmattic

                  Re: "don't enter the country illegally"

                  Or the children had somehow ended up in the company of human traffickers. You know, those folks who get busted for running brothels with women who were forced into prostitution.

        3. SolidSquid

          Re: "don't enter the country illegally"

          If they want to claim asylum then just showing up is exactly what they need to do, asylum can't be claimed until after they're on US soil. The laws regarding asylum also make allowances for crossing over the border at points other than a recognised border crossing and set conditions under which those detained should be kept (which haven't been abided by, particularly those regarding the detainment of children)

    2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

      Re: Screw Chef

      So law enforcements job is cause undue psychological trauma on young children because their parents are seeking a better life? Or is it the law (or interpretation of) that should be under scrutiny? Either way, from a moral standpoint it's detestable.

      Protesting no longer seems to get anywhere, so maybe hitting businesses and law enforcement where it hurts is now a valid way to be heard?

    3. jilocasin

      Re: Screw Chef

      Well there are a couple of holes (large ones at that) with your analysis.

      Most people have no problem with detainment, either at the border, or within the country. This is the same whether your crime is the 'misdemeanor' offense of entering the country illegally/ overstaying your visa (which is how most people end up in the country illegally, NOT crossing the southern border) or murdering your fellow man. The problem many people have is with the human rights abuses. Even *convicted* murderers are treated better than children, some younger than four years old have been by this agency, and by extension the current administration. They have food, medical care, a dry bed to sleep on, toilet paper and tooth paste for $deity's sake. I'm talking about the murderers, not the children by the way in case you confused the two.

      A large number of the people trying to claim asylum are fleeing persecution and death in their home countries. It takes quite a bit to drag your, sometimes infant children, thousands of miles for just the hope of a better life.

      You don't like the people trying to enter the country legally, we get it. It doesn't mean that ICE or the Trump administration should get a free pass abusing children. Here's a reminder of how it's 'supposed' to work:

      People enter the country (legally, illegally, overstay a visa, presenting themselves at a border crossing, doesn't matter) and claim asylm.

      First a preliminary determination is made as to whether they might have a reasonable claim. Those that don't and / or don't win an appeal of that decision get put in line for deportation.

      Then a determination is made of whether they are a danger to themselves or others. Those that are are housed in a secure yet humane facility until trial. Those that aren't given a court date, sometimes a GPS tracking device, sometimes a number to call in regularly until their court date. Of those that are released, over 89% (by the DOJ's own records) make their court dates.

      If there are children involved and a determination has been made to incarcerate the parents, a search for any relatives or friends to take care of them is made and if any are found, they are placed into their custody. If there isn't anyone, the children are put into the usual child protective services until a determination of their and their parents status is arrived at.

      If they are granted asylm, they get to stay, if not, they are deported.

      Do you know what's missing from the above? Any mention of housing children like caged animals with little to no; food, clothing, medical care, education, or anything else those in the developed world believe human beings (even those incarcerated) are entitled to.

      Just because the current administration wants to *send a message* that he's *tough on immigration*. Doesn't justify human rights abuses nor the agencies that perform them.

      Committing human right abuses isn't _their_job_, or at least it shouldn't be.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: Screw Chef

        I applaud your attempt to educate the rabid white racist portion of your population, but I fear that, by using more than 20 words, you lost their attention and they are back to watching Fox News again.

        Good try, though.

      2. SolidSquid

        Re: Screw Chef

        "Do you know what's missing from the above? Any mention of housing children like caged animals with little to no; food, clothing, medical care..."

        Also missing from above, losing track of where the children end up after leaving the internment facilities. There's been at least a few cases where ICE has lost track of the children, and I think they even refused to give numbers on how many there were they'd lost. This becomes an issue if the parent's case is considered invalid, because the parents are then deported without being reunited with their children

      3. holmegm Bronze badge

        Re: Screw Chef

        Your characterizations are false, and the previous administration (praise be upon it) did things largely the same way they are done now.

        It's an amazing propaganda success to watch this.

        Frankly, dragging your children across the desert to enter another country illegally should be grounds in and of itself for taking your children into some sort of care.

        1. jilocasin

          Re: Screw Chef

          As opposed to the alternative?

          Staying put and letting your children;


          be sexually abused

          be killed by lawless gangs

          be killed by lawless government agents

          Pick any one (or all) of the above. Dragging your children across the desert to enter another, much safer, country sounds like the smartest thing a parent might do.

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Screw Chef

      > Stop blaming law enforcement for doing their job.

      So it's ok to harass the f*ck out of US citizens like me, and demand things like unfettered access to my electronic devices, and the passwords to my social media?

      That doesn't sound like any definition of doing their job.

    6. Willie T

      Re: Screw Chef

      I don't believe for a minute you are a sysadmin who will now stop using Chef. What I do believe is you are a political troll that is trying to make it look like this is going to hurt the company financially. I don't think they give a rats ass whether you use their software or not - clearly large contracts like this are what they are live on. Most likely they made a business decision that - barring a few idiots like yourself - most customers would be more likely to do business with them if they didn't have this stain on their reputation.

    7. DryBones
      Big Brother

      Re: Screw Chef

      Hate to pull Godwin's here, but weren't the guards at the -other- concentration camps "just doing their job"?

      Inhumane is inhumane, and complicit is complicit.

      1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

        Re: Screw Chef

        People who invoke Godwin are possibly people who think that invoking the Nazis is in poor taste as something like that would surely never happen again in civilised society.

        These people have no clue about human nature and what evils normal people can be pushed to do.

      2. SolidSquid

        Re: Screw Chef

        Eh, it's only a Godwin if it's an ad hominem attack, not if you're referencing the actual legal proceedings and specific behaviours of the Nazis

    8. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

      Re: Screw Chef

      You do realise that most of these asylum seekers come from countries in South America where the US govt has brought Freedom and Democracy(tm)

      Your cosy luxuriant life is bought with the hardship, deaths and economical exploitation of your fellow human beings to the south of your border.

      Think of that next time you take a look in the mirror.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "South America where the US govt has brought Freedom and Democracy(tm)"

        Not that they are very good at creating freedom and democracy themselves. Every time they fall into some form of dictatorship and kleptocracy - right or left doesn't really matter.

        And their are exploited first from their very own people and governments, before being exploited by foreign ones. But they regularly put in power someone who will screw them over and over. Sometimes with applause from "progressives", like Cuba. Applause from people who never looked at themselves in a mirror.

        The problem is that freedom and democracy are extremely difficult to achieve and maintain, because both require to relinquish some easy way to obtain power and wealth exploiting others. Some cultures seems utterly unaware or unwillingly to understand that, they are inherently anti-democratic - and repeat the same mistakes over and over to the extreme consequences. Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, etc. complete disasters. Not surprisingly, Spain in Europe kept a dictator until is death in 1975. Portugal kept a dictatorship until 1974.

        Unluckily, even US and many Western democracies - which with all their mistakes were still far better than those countries - look to be on the same path again - and a large influx of immigrants who cannot be easily integrated - and often don't want at all -, and will keep the same failed cultures that doomed their original countries, will only make the process faster.

        Don't believe they will vote only for democratic progressive politicians, right-wing caudillos are common in South America just like left-wing dictators. Nice choice, eh?

        1. tim 13

          Re: "South America where the US govt has brought Freedom and Democracy(tm)"

          “and a large influx of immigrants who cannot be easily integrated - and often don't want at all”

          Pretty much the history of the USA

        2. jilocasin

          Re: "South America where the US govt has brought Freedom and Democracy(tm)"

          As Churchill once said;

          "Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…"

      2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

          Re: Screw Chef

          Keep telling yourself that. There. There. It'll be all fine.

          Democratically elected governments being overthrown in South America, people being killed by death squads, the huge discrepancy of wealth, US companies calling in the CIA to protect their business interests and killing/displacing hundreds of thousands of people isn't real They're only pictures in the news.

          Now go back to sleep.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Screw Chef

            LOL, keep telling yourself Latin America is the cradle of democracy and great freedom. People like you know only the beaches of Latin America, where they sleep while exploiting the local poverty.

            Governments being overthrown by whom? Military coups by Latin American generals, or "revolutions" by some Latin America communist leader (or both, look at Chavez) - all of them always leading to a plain, simple, ferocious dictatorship, or kleptocracies which let crime run wild.

            To keep ensuring wealth is strictly held in a few hands of "friends", Pinochet, Peron, Chavez or Castro doesn't really matter - same ugly and mortal results.

            Sure, and were the death squads from? Same Latin American people killing other Latin American people to obtain power and money. All they can understand. Life and democratic rights, who cares!

            Sure, CIA and KGB (did you forget it?) often meddled with Latin America affairs, and both promoted their dictator to gain an advantage - but remember, all dictators were and are from the same country and willingly to exploit their people and make them and their crooks rich, and more than willingly to accept foreign meddling. Because they could care less about their people.

            Go back to sleep, you've been sleeping for the past 70 years, it looks...

            1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

              Re: Screw Chef


              You think this is LOL funny? What kind of person are you? Seriously?

              keep telling yourself Latin America is the cradle of democracy and great freedom.

              You got me. My words exactly. Strawman much?

              People like you know only the beaches of Latin America, where they sleep while exploiting the local poverty.

              Not sure what you're smoking, quite sure I made a point of pointing out the huge wealth disparity and exploitation. It's probably more people who stick their head in the sand, such as some anonymous cowards.

              Governments being overthrown by whom?

              How about the CIA? This is all well documented and undisputed.

              If you don't know that, then I am not the one the one who's been sleeping through the last 70 years.

              It may be an unwelcome truth, but you could at least do the courtesy of acknowledging this has happened, instead of conflating the reactions of the local population to oppression, Castro, Chavez with CIA installed right-wing war criminals like Pinochet.

              Are Castro and Chavez saints? No. Are they a reaction to exploitation, poverty and CIA) imposed dictatorship. Hell yes.

              Sleep tight Anonymous coward. You've earned your meal ticket today.

    9. Jeffrey Nonken

      Re: Screw Chef


  5. Korev Silver badge

    This sounds like a recipe for disaster...

    1. horse of a different color

      It's half-baked...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As software engineers, we have to abide by some sort of moral compass

    Ironic coming from a Google employee

    1. david 12

      Re: As software engineers, we have to abide by some sort of moral compass

      I think it was Jeff Atwood who observed than no ethical software engineer would write a "destroyParis()" routine. A software engineer with any kind of moral compass would write a "destroycity(cityID)" routine, and pass "Paris" as a parameter.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: A software engineer with any kind of moral compass would write a "destroycity(cityID)" routine

        Bollocks. A moral software engineer wouldn't write either routine.

        The engineer who wrote the one that takes a cityId has done a better job of engineering it but it's arguably less moral.

        It wouldn't necessarily target the French.

    2. xewill

      Re: As software engineers, we have to abide by some sort of moral compass

      you made a typo, you misspelt 'As humans that live in a modern society' as 'software engineers.'

      you're welcome

  7. dnicholas

    Having morals costs money these days

    1. veti Silver badge

      If taking a moral stand doesn't have costs - then it's not much of a stand, really, is it?

  8. The Axe

    Go woke go broke

    If the business wants to follow the orders of its employees rather than its managers and would prefer to virtue signal rather than make a business deal worth lots of people's salaries then it deserves to go to the wall.

    1. jilocasin

      Re: Go woke go broke

      You are giving Chef too much credit. There is no 'Wokeness' to be found here, just cold hard accounting.

      If you compare the initial response to this latest one, what's readily apparent is that other 'paying' customers were starting to get uncomfortable/complain. They were risking much more money from losing their 'other' customers over this than they stood to make continuing with this contract. They could care less about their employees complaints, those had been going on for a while and hadn't stopped them from signing. They sure as heck haven't gotten 'woke' to any extent.

    2. SolidSquid

      Re: Go woke go broke

      Yeah, who cares what the employees who keep the company running think about controversial company policies, ignoring them definitely isn't going to backfire in any way

  9. NonyaDB

    Looks like the only winner here is the first defense contractor to come up with a government-use-only clone.

    Which is going to happen, probably from NGIT or Raytheon - they've both done this before in other areas.

    Chef was really stupid caving in like this.

  10. JohnG Silver badge

    Open source licenses and moral compass exclusions

    I was under the impression that open sources licenses don't have clauses that permit particular individuals, entities or groups to be excluded, whether for a moral compass or any other reason. If you say your code is not available to particular entities, the MIT License could no longer apply.

    1. jilocasin

      Re: Open source licenses and moral compass exclusions

      For the most part they don't.

      What this developer did (as was covered in the original piece) was to take down his repository. Anyone who had the code was free to keep using it under the terms of the open source license it was released under. What they couldn't do was get a copy from *his* repo. He was well within his rights to say in effect; "what ICE is doing is wrong, what Chef is doing is wrong supporting that, and I want to make it known that I *personally* don't agree with it.

      The license is rather besides the point. He could have done the same thing under a suitable commercial license, although it would have been easier to include a morality clause in a commercial license.

      Had Chef, as a competent commercial entity done the sensible thing, it would have been a non issue. Some smaller companies / independent developers would have noticed, but Chef's customers would have been fine. Unfortunately for Chef, while they took advantage of applicable open source code (good) they were too sloppy/lazy/cheap to host their own tool chain (bad). The effect being that when he 'closed' his repo, their product and their customer's installs, broke.

      The fact that this served to magnify the point the developer was trying to make by calling attention to what he felt was a questionable contract was just icing on the cake. That Chef's employees and 'other' customers might feel the same, once they were made aware of it, if why Chef changed course.

      You don't get points for doing the right thing only when all other options have been exhausted.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wait until the MS employees discover where Windows is used, and what runs on it!

    In all seriousness though this is "okay" more than the Ruby guy pulling a package yesterday or the day before.

    The Ruby guy published something under an open source license, it exists out there even if he took down "the official source" or whatever, people can fork and carry on using that. So what he did wont really change anything. You can't go "oh I meant to license this as Apache but with a dick-prevention clause" (maybe you could release it as a license with a condition that only the chosen people can use it? "GPL-v2 to everyone except Steve" or something, as it's not pure GPLv2 and wouldn't count as GPLv2 software)

    This however is different. it's the consumers or markets applying pressure to make one avenue unpalatable - which if we are to call a stupid force (saving misguided force as something that actually happens with markets) or pointless force, or bad force would make many other good corollaries stupid/pointless/bad

    Is there something I've missed here? "" with Google a few months ago or is this just "social pressure" and day-to-day normal stuff?

    Just to add: I'm not an American and all "free market" mad (you could poke so many holes in that) -but more as "isn't this just companies reacting to the situation?" - for better or worse.

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