Who are the targets?
Although governments are responsible for creating immigration policy, they are outsourcing the implementation of most of this violence to the private sector. Thus the border regime relies on a vast network of hundreds of companies, many of which are household names. These firms provide and develop the technologies and labour required to make the hostile environment a reality, as well as playing a significant role in promoting these policies and the alarmist, racist, xenophobic narratives which feed into them. Collectively, these firms make up the Border Industry, which is the target of our campaign.
The categorization of the border industry underpinning the People & Planet Border Divestment List (BDL) is mainly based on the Transnational Institute’s Financing Border Wars Report (Akkerman 2021).
We differentiate between 5 categories of reprehensible corporate activities that companies engage in:
1) Border Security and Control - The technological and physical infrastructure of security and surveillance at borders, as well as the provision of the personnel who staff them.
2) Border Surveillance - The use of a broad range of (newer) technologies to record, control and prevent the movement of people. These include biometric databases and case management tools, biometric collecting and matching technologies, cloud infrastructure, data brokering, as well as phone and social media tracking.
3) Deportation - The (usually involuntary) removal of people from a country, often by force.
4) Detention - The deprivation of liberty for migration-related reasons.
5) Advisory and Audit Services - The provision of support services which are invaluable to the operation of the above activities.
You can find more information about the violence inherent in each of these sectors within our Divest Borders Action Guide.
Our Border Divestment List indicates the companies complicit in border violence from whom all universities must divest.
Border Industry Classification
Market Cap USD (BILLIONS) [16/11/21]
|ACCENTURE||IRELAND||BORDER SURVEILLANCE, ADVISORY AND AUDIT||232.728|
|AIRBUS||NETHERLANDS||BORDER SECURITY AND CONTROL||102.536|
|AIR TRANSPORT SERVICES GROUP||UNITED STATES||BORDER SURVEILLANCE||2.035|
|AMAZON||UNITED STATES||BORDER SURVEILLANCE||1,798.000|
|ASELSAN ELEKTRONIK SANAYI||TURKEY||BORDER SECURITY AND CONTROL, BORDER SURVEILLANCE||4.026|
|AUSTAL||AUSTRALIA||BORDER SECURITY AND CONTROL||0.507|
|BABCOCK INTL GROUP||UNITED KINGDOM||BORDER SECURITY AND CONTROL, BORDER SURVEILLANCE||2.176|
|BAE SYSTEMS||UNITED KINGDOM||BORDER SECURITY AND CONTROL, BORDER SURVEILLANCE||
|BOEING||UNITED STATES||BORDER SECURITY AND CONTROL||136.987|
|BOOZ ALLEN HAMILTON HOLDING||UNITED STATES||BORDER SURVEILLANCE||11.921|
|CACI INTERNATIONAL||UNITED STATES||BORDER SECURITY AND CONTROL, BORDER SURVEILLANCE||6.577|
|COGNIZANT TECH SOLUTIONS||UNITED STATES||BORDER SURVEILLANCE||43.060|
|ELBIT SYSTEMS||ISRAEL||BORDER SECURITY AND CONTROL, BORDER SURVEILLANCE||675.611|
|EXPERIAN||IRELAND||ADVISORY AND AUDIT||43.299|
|FINCANTIERI||ITALY||BORDER SECURITY AND CONTROL||1.324|
|GB GROUP||UNITED KINGDOM||BORDER SURVEILLANCE||2.281|
|GENERAL DYNAMICS||UNITED STATES||BORDER SECURITY AND CONTROL, BORDER SURVEILLANCE||56.143|
|GEO GROUP||UNITED STATES||DETENTION||1.178|
|GRANITE CONSTRUCTION||UNITED STATES||BORDER SECURITY AND CONTROL||1.926|
|HENSOLDT AG||GERMANY||BORDER SECURITY AND CONTROL||1.643|
|HEWLETT PACKARD ENTERPRISE||UNITED STATES||BORDER SURVEILLANCE||19.228|
|INDRA SISTEMAS||SPAIN||BORDER SURVEILLANCE||2.204|
|IBM||UNITED STATES||BORDER SURVEILLANCE||106.546|
|INTL CONSOLIDATED AIRLINE DI (PARENT COMPANY OF BRITISH AIRWAYS)||SPAIN||DEPORTATION||10.803|
|KBR||UNITED STATES||BORDER SECURITY AND CONTROL||6.316|
|L3HARRIS TECHNOLOGIES||UNITED STATES||BORDER SECURITY AND CONTROL||43.411|
|LEIDOS HOLDINGS||UNITED STATES||BORDER SURVEILLANCE||13.231|
|LEONARDO||ITALY||BORDER SECURITY AND CONTROL, BORDER SURVEILLANCE||4.295|
|LOCKHEED MARTIN||UNITED STATES||BORDER SECURITY AND CONTROL||94.021|
|MICROSOFT||UNITED STATES||BORDER SURVEILLANCE||2,523.000|
|MITIE GROUP||UNITED KINGDOM||DETENTION, DEPORTATION||1.346|
|MOTOROLA SOLUTIONS||UNITED STATES||BORDER SURVEILLANCE||42.435|
|NORTHROP GRUMMAN||UNITED STATES||BORDER SECURITY AND CONTROL, BORDER SURVEILLANCE||56.642|
|OSI SYSTEMS||UNITED STATES||BORDER SECURITY AND CONTROL||1.730|
|PALANTIR TECHNOLOGIES||UNITED STATES||BORDER SURVEILLANCE||46.933|
|RAYTHEON TECHNOLOGIES||UNITED STATES||BORDER SECURITY AND CONTROL||134.664|
|RHEINMETALL||GERMANY||BORDER SECURITY AND CONTROL||4.361|
|SAAB||SWEDEN||BORDER SECURITY AND CONTROL||3.777|
|SCIENCE APPLICATIONS||UNITED STATES||BORDER SURVEILLANCE||5.122|
|SERCO GROUP||UNITED KINGDOM||DETENTION||2.226|
|SMITHS GROUP||UNITED KINGDOM||BORDER SECURITY AND CONTROL, BORDER SURVEILLANCE||7.928|
|SOPRA STERIA||FRANCE||BORDER SURVEILLANCE||3.976|
|TARGET HOSPITALITY||UNITED STATES||DETENTION||488.774|
|TELEDYNE TECHNOLOGIES||UNITED STATES||BORDER SECURITY AND CONTROL, BORDER SURVEILLANCE||20.707|
|TEXTRON||UNITED STATES||BORDER SECURITY AND CONTROL||16.878|
|THALES||FRANCE||BORDER SECURITY AND CONTROL, BORDER SURVEILLANCE||19.743|
|THOMSON REUTERS||CANADA||BORDER SURVEILLANCE||58.589|
|TURK HAVA YOLLARI AO (PARENT COMPANY OF TURKISH AIRLINES)||TURKEY||DEPORTATION||2.378|
To identify companies with links to the border industry, we mainly consulted existing reports and research output about different segments or geographies of the border industry. Those included the reports of the Transnational Institute (TNI), the AFSC Investigate Border Research database and Divest For Immigrant Justice List, and a report from Privacy International. We also did desk research to identify additional companies mostly with links to the UK and EU border regimes.
The geographical focus of the BDL is on the UK, US-Mexican border (mainly based on research by AFSC and TNI) and Europe (incl. the Mediterranean Sea).
While there are fossil fuel companies that can relatively easy be identified (and included on the fossil fuel divestment list) by looking at how much the business model relies on the production and sales of crude oil, natural gas, and thermal coal (or the size of yet unproduced fossil fuel reserves), there are no ‘border companies’.
That is why the decision over a company's inclusion in the People & Planet Border Divestment List (BDL) was made based on an evaluation of six quantitative and qualitative criteria (below) that seek to capture the extent to which a company is involved in the border industry. Our aim is to identify publicly listed companies which engage in corporate activities that play a significant role in the construction and/or operation of border infrastructures (physical and digital).
We evaluate companies based on all criteria for which information is publicly available. Our two key criteria are if there is quantitative or qualitative evidence that the company in question engages in corporate activities that characterize the border industry. We used the other four criteria to evaluate
a) the extent to which the corporate activities related to the border industry are important (that is, financially material or strategic) to the company itself
b) the extent to which the corporate activities related to the border industry are important for the public authority purchasing goods/services.
By taking this lens, we included companies on the BDL for which corporate activities related to the border industry only account for a small share of their operations (or revenues) but whose services are vital for the construction and/or operation of border infrastructures.
Company inclusion criteria
We made the final decision which companies to include in the BDL on a company-by-company basis after carefully considering the assessments of all six criteria outlined below.
1. Financial materiality: is the reprehensible corporate activity financially material for the company in question? (>10% of total annual revenues)
2. Is it possible to quantify monetary contract values related to the reprehensible corporate activity?
3. Is there qualitative evidence of reprehensible corporate activities?
4. Is the corporate activity part of a separate business unit, product group, and/or of strategic importance for the company in question?
5. Is the company in question directly or indirectly involved in active lobbying efforts to influence policy making in favor of the border industry in general and/or the specific reprehensible corporate activity in question?
6. To what extent are government authorities dependent on purchasing the corporative activity from the company in question?
We acknowledge that the resulting list of companies is not comprehensive and do not claim that it captures all companies engaged in activities related to the border industry in the geographies outlined above. Firstly, our BDL doesn’t include any companies which are not publicly traded, as these companies cannot be invested in. While there are a number of these companies who are key players in the industry, they are not within reach of this campaign. Additionally, this version of the BDL does not include all airline companies who are complicit in deportation, but currently only those who are the most active in this area. Further, the list also does not include banks and institutional investors that provide debt finance (e.g., loans or bonds) to companies listed on the BDL and thus provide the latter with crucial financial sources to advance border infrastructure projects. We aim to include both groups of companies in the next iteration of the list.
Wezeman, Siemon T., Fleurant, Aude, Kuimova, Alexandra, Lopes da Silva, Diego, Tian, Nan and Pieter D. Wezeman (2019). The SIPRI Top 100 Arms-producing and Military Services Companies, 2018. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.