More Than 40 Leading U.S. Businesses File Brief Opposing Immigration Ban

February 17, 2017

In a sign of their unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion, more than forty of the nation’s leading companies and employers filed a brief yesterday as amici curiae in Darweesh v. Trump, urging the federal court in the Eastern District of New York to grant injunctive relief against the recent Executive Order restricting travel and immigration into the United States.

The brief’s signatories represent a range of industries critical to the national and global economies, including the fields of high-tech, computing, and information technology. They are headquartered and do business in cities and states across the United States, including New York, where they filed their amici curiae brief. And they are united by a common core value: a place of work should be diverse and must provide equal opportunities for all, regardless of nationality or religion.

They also all believe that the immigration ban signed on January 27, 2017 impedes their ability to adhere to that core value.

The leading companies include: Yahoo! Inc.; Tumblr, Inc.; Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.; Uber Technologies, Inc.; Airbnb, Inc.; Chobani LLC; Affirm, Inc.; Ampush LLC; Appboy, Inc.; AppNexus Inc.; AppDynamics, Inc.; DoorDash, Inc.; Dropbox, Inc.; EquityZen Inc.; General Assembly Space, Inc. (d/b/a General Assembly); Greenhouse Software, Inc.; Habla Inc. (d/b/a Olark Live Chat); Imgur, LLC; InVisionApp, Inc.; JAND, Inc. (d/b/a Warby Parker); Kickstarter, PBC; Knotel, Inc.; Managed By Q Inc.; Mapbox, Inc.; Marin Software Inc.; MeetUp, Inc.; MongoDB, Inc.;, Inc.; nTopology Inc.; Postmates Inc.; Purch Group, Inc.; Quantcast Corp.; RealNetworks, Inc.; RetailMeNot, Inc.; Ryzac, Inc. (d/b/a Codecademy); Shutterstock, Inc.; Tech:NYC; Trello, Inc.; Udacity, Inc.; Upwork, Inc.; and WorkAndCo International, Inc. (d/b/a Work & Co).

"These companies all know that one of the keys to great success in business is recruiting and retaining the most talented possible workforces, and that isn’t possible without strong policies favoring diversity and inclusion," said Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, which filed the brief on behalf of the leading companies. "This Executive Order directly impedes these vital policies and harms these companies – and it does so through unconstitutional means."

Many of the amici curiae that signed on to this brief employ, partner with, or contract with individuals directly targeted by the Executive Order. Some of these individuals have been separated indefinitely from loved ones. Others fear that if they leave the country, including for work travel, they will never be able to return.

As a direct result of the immigration ban, morale at businesses is lower, employers are cut off from the recruiting of more than 212 million people, employees are unable to perform jobs that require travel, and amici curiae have been forced to expend significant resources just to keep up with the ever-changing scope and impact of the Executive Order.

These factors are bad for business, bad for the State of New York, and bad for the United States.

"As you can see from the range of signatories on this brief, this Executive Order is negatively impacting the broader national and global communities," Boutrous said. "These companies felt it was important to speak out and explain why the ban doesn’t work for businesses, consumers, and the American people."

The companies’ brief also addresses the constitutional infirmities of the recent ban. As courts across the country have already recognized, there are serious questions as to whether the Executive Order violates equal protection and due process, and whether it exceeds the scope of the Executive’s constitutional authority.

These constitutional concerns, combined with the harmful effects of the ban on business, compelled many of the country’s leading employers to voice their concerns in this brief and to lend their support to the New York Attorney General’s Office, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Urban Justice Center, the National Immigration Law Center, and Yale Law School, the organizations and entities leading the charge against enforcement of the Executive Order in the Eastern District of New Yorklawsuit.

"New York’s business community is sending a clear message: the immigration ban undermines the people and the businesses that make our economy run and our state thrive. I’m proud to have these companies’ support in our lawsuit – and I won’t stop fighting to permanently strike down this discriminatory ban and protect New Yorkers," said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

The leading companies submitting the amici curiae brief are represented in this matter by Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr., Ethan D. Dettmer, Alexander H. Southwell, Theane Evangelis, Anne Champion, Kirsten Galler, and Kevin Ring-Dowell of the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

Click here to view brief [PDF].