Fish Files Amicus Brief in Support of Challenge to Immigration Executive Order

On February 16, 2017, a team of Fish pro bono attorneys filed an Amicus Brief through the Federal District Court in Brooklyn on behalf of Letitia James, the Public Advocate for the City of New York, in the case of Darweesh et al. v. Trump et al. The brief is in support of a challenge to the current Administration’s Executive Order banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. The Public Advocate’s brief stated that implementation of the travel ban will cause irreparable harm to the City of New York, as immigrants are essential to the economic engine of the community, and are responsible for the culture of diversity that is the hallmark of the renowned city.

The Public Advocate is one of three elected city-wide officials in New York City and serves as a governmental ombudsman on behalf of city residents. In working closely with the Public Advocate’s office, Fish attorneys worked on a pro bono basis to outline the dependence the city's economy has on its immigrant community. The foreign-born community comprises 47% percent of the city’s workforce and provided $257 billion in economic activity in 2013 – which amounted to 32% of New York’s gross city product. The brief argues that the travel ban will choke the growth of, and investment in, New York's industries, in addition to the tearing families apart and compromising the health and safety of all New Yorkers.

The Amicus filing was drafted by a group of attorneys from Fish’s New York and Boston offices. Principals Michael Zoppo and Caroline Simons worked with associates Ron Vogel and Jay Zhu to finalize the brief.

"We are honored to have had the opportunity to assist the Public Advocate in this landmark case. Our abilities to quickly assemble a team, develop a game plan, and get the job done are hallmarks of Fish's litigation group," said Principal Michael Zoppo. "We are proud to bring those strengths to our pro bono work."

Principal Caroline Simons adds, "The brief was, in a way, an homage not only to our client and the important work it does, but to the great city of New York itself. Every member of this team lives or has lived here. This was a chance to advocate on behalf of a city that embodies the best of American values, and a place that we truly love.”

To read Fish’s full amicus brief,please click here.

To learn more about Fish's pro bono program, visit