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102 Companies Join Brief Defending Dreamers From DACA Rescission

21 March 2018
Corporate Counsel

From A (Amazon.com) to Z (Zendesk Inc.), 102 companies have joined in a friend of the court brief to argue in support of 800,000 Dreamers who came to America as children and were allowed to stay here. Many are now adults.

The companies are opposing the Trump administration’s rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which let the youngsters stay.

The brief was filed Tuesday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a case brought by the regents of the University of California against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The government is appealing a lower court’s ruling granting a preliminary injunction against the rescission and denying the government’s motion to dismiss the case.

The corporations joining the brief are predominantly tech firms, including most of the big names: eBay Inc., Facebook Inc., Google Inc., IBM Corp., Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp.

But there is also a wide array of other companies and trade associations, such as ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc., home furnishings retailer IKEA North America Services, apparel maker Levi Strauss & Co., the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals and telecommunications giant Verizon Communications Inc.

The group is represented by Andrew Pincus and Lauren Goldman of Mayer Brown in Washington, D.C. They were joined by Seth Waxman and other lawyers from Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr.

General counsel at companies that signed on did not immediately return messages seeking comment, but Pincus told Corporate Counsel, “I think that the breadth and depth of support indicates the concern among American businesses that the rescission of DACA has significant adverse consequences for people they work with, and for American businesses generally. They [businesses] want to stand up and speak out and make sure that courts and Congress are aware of that.”

The brief argues that rescinding DACA “will inflict enormous harm on individuals, companies and the economy.” It also says the government’s decision was “arbitrary, capricious and contrary to law.”

It says the Dreamers are not only employees, but also consumers. If DACA is rescinded, the brief states, “our national GDP will lose between $351 [billion] and $460.3 billion, and tax revenues will be reduced by $92.9 billion, over the next decade.”

It urges the Ninth Circuit to affirm the earlier rulings of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The government lost a chance in February for a quick decision when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear its appeal until the Ninth Circuit has ruled.

The brief is similar to one filed in February 2017, when 128 companies opposed President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travel from six predominantly Muslim countries. The court fight over the ban is scheduled to be heard next month before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Reprinted with permission from the March 21, 2018 edition of Corporate Counsel © 2018 ALM Properties, Inc. All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited.

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