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Post date: October 5 2017

A.G. Schneiderman Boosts Legal Claims In Amended Multi-State DACA Lawsuit And Announces New Supporting Declarations By Warby Parker, Univision, Partnership For NYC, And Association For A Better New York

News from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman 

October 5, 2017

Attorney General’s Press Office / 212-416-8060
Twitter: @AGSchneiderman

Warby Parker And Univision Become First New York-Based Companies To File Declarations In Support Of A.G. Schneiderman’s DREAMER Lawsuit

NEW YORK—Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced today that the coalition of 16 attorneys general and the State of Colorado that recently sued President Trump over his decision to end the successful DACA program have filed an amended complaint in the Eastern District of New York. A.G. Schneiderman also announced that Warby Parker, Univision Communications Inc., the Partnership for New York City, and the Association for a Better New York (ABNY) filed declarations in support of the lawsuit. Warby Parker and Univision are the first New York-based companies to file declarations in support of the lawsuit, which details how the Trump administration has violated the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution by discriminating against DREAMers of Mexican origin, who make up 78 percent of DACA grantees; violated Due Process rights; and harmed States’ residents, institutions, and economies. 

President Trump’s plan to end DACA is chaotic, wrong, and unconstitutional,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Business leaders across New York know that extending DACA isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s also in the best interest of New York’s economy. DREAMers study hard, play by the rules, and work at successful companies across New York. I am proud to stand with strong, principled businesses and organizations like Warby Parker, Univision, the Partnership for NYC, and ABNY that stand up for all of New York’s workforce and support vital programs like DACA.”

“The federal government has declared war on the values of tolerance and inclusion that built this state and this nation,” said Governor Cuomo. “This cruel move to rescind DACA feeds the beast of bigotry, and it will upend the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people across the nation. We cannot and we will not sit on the sidelines and watch the lives of these young people ruined. As we made clear before this decision, New York is suing to protect the ‘dreamers’ and the state’s sovereign interest in the fair and equal application of the law. Today’s amended complaint will further safeguard New Yorkers targeted by the federal government’s actions, and it sends another clear message that New York will never stop fighting for the values embodied by the Lady in our Harbor. The federal government’s action is antithetical to everything we believe as New Yorkers. As a nation, we should be moving forward, not backward, and talking about a pathway to citizenship for our friends, families and neighbors who have only ever called America their home.”

“We will fight to preserve the DACA program because we believe that protecting the future of young, undocumented immigrants is vital to our country's economy,” said Dave Gilboa, co-founder and co-CEO of Warby Parker, who immigrated to the United States at six years old. “Staying silent wasn't an option.”

“We see every day the innumerable contributions of immigrants that strengthen our country,” said Randy Falco, President and Chief Executive Officer of Univision. “Univision will continue to stand by the thousands of talented DREAMers whose stories are unmistakably American. The loss of DREAMers in our workforce and in our communities will result in significant harm to the success of this great nation and to organizations like Univision that give voice to the underrepresented.”

“Businesses rely on New York City’s diverse workforce to support its position as a global commercial hub. Attorney General Schneiderman is taking action to protect young people who are making important contributions to our economy and we support his efforts,” said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City

Univision's declaration states, “Univision may have up to 60 employees, ranging across its entire company, who are beneficiaries of the DACA program and affected by the government’s decision. (Like many other companies, Univision has not yet been able to confirm the exact number of its employees who have DACA status.) From the talent in front of and behind the camera, to the sharp creative minds that make our business run, to energized interns who are the Company’s future – hard-working DACA beneficiaries are essential to creating and disseminating the news, entertainment, and services that Univision provides to millions of Americans every day.”

“…As a news operation, Univision will be harmed by the elimination of DACA. The ending of the program will make DACA beneficiaries, including DACA beneficiaries with family members who may be in the United States without status, less likely to come forward to appear on news programs, provide commentary on public affairs, and otherwise speak up on such issues as social justice and community affairs for fear that they or their families may be deported. This would not only hamper news coverage but, as seen in other countries, create a dearth of reliable information, lead to the dissemination of misinformation, and stifle the award-winning efforts of Univision’s investigative journalism teams.”

Warby Parker’s declaration states, “Dreamers represent the best of American society—for instance, many have started their own businesses and give back to their communities—and their continued contributions to this country are critical to a thriving economy. The decision to end DACA will harm our customers, our employees, our business, and our community. We believe that protecting the future of Dreamers is good business for Warby Parker and organizations like us; and it is simply the right thing to do.”

Warby Parker also expects that ending DACA would harm the immigrant children who benefit from the company’s commitment to provide free prescription glasses to students in need at New York City Community Schools. Warby Parker currently employs more than 450 individuals in the state of New York, and over 1,200 in the U.S. and Canada. Though Warby Parker has a policy of not asking employees whether they are DACA grantees, the company is aware of at least one DREAMer on staff.

The declaration from the Partnership for New York City states, “Currently, 44 percent of New York City’s private sector employees are foreign-born. The Partnership believes that ending DACA would be a signal to the rest of the world that America is no longer a place that embraces talent, hard work and the energy of immigrants. That message would harm the efforts of our member companies to recruit talented employees with diverse skills from across the globe and make it more difficult for New York companies to compete with foreign companies. Furthermore, losing New York’s DACA recipients will create a significant burden on the businesses in which they work. The cost to recruit, hire and train their replacements would be considerable.”

ABNY’s declaration states, “The economic benefit of documented and undocumented immigrants and DACA grantees to the state is significant. According to the American Immigration Council, immigrant-led households in the state paid $26.5 billion in federal taxes and $15.9 billion in state and local taxes in 2014. Undocumented immigrants in New York paid an estimated $1.1 billion in state and local taxes in 2014. Their contribution would increase to $1.3 billion if they could receive legal status. Undocumented immigrants who were enrolled in the DACA program in 2016 paid an estimated $140 million in state and local taxes.”

Click here to read a copy of the declarations from Warby Parker, Univision, Partnership for New York City and ABNY.

The amended complaint filed late Wednesday in the Eastern District of New York adds two new causes of action to the multistate lawsuit. The amended complaint states that the Trump Administration violated the doctrine of equitable estoppel by failing to honor promises made to DACA grantees, including representations that personal information submitted as part of individual DACA applications would not be used for immigration enforcement. The amended complaint also states that the Trump Administration denied DACA grantees Fifth Amendment Procedural Due Process by failing to provide them with adequate notice about the procedures and timeline for renewing their DACA status and by failing to provide adequate notice about the general termination of the DACA program after March 5, 2018.

The original September 6, 2017 lawsuit was led by Attorney General Schneiderman, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, and Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and filed by a total of 16 Attorneys General: New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia.

Click here to read the amended complaint.

New York is home to nearly 42,000 DACA grantees. There are approximately 800,000 DACA grantees across the country. According to the Center for American Progress, 97 percent of DACA grantees are employed or go to school; they pay $140 million annually in state and local taxes in New York, as the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy has detailed.