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Governance

SEIU pension fund trustees call on companies to address risks from Trump immigration actions

Twelve trustees of SEIU pension funds are calling on the 50 largest S&P 500 companies to address possible shareholder and business risks stemming from the Trump administration's immigration actions.

In letters issued to the companies the trustees pointed to the Trump administration's plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and the reissued travel ban as recent actions that "violate basic standards of decency and expose companies to significant reputational risk" and create an environment that "threatens the plan participants (the trustees) are sworn to defend."

Specifically, the trustees ask in the letters that the 50 companies agree to in-person meetings to review these risks; increase their disclosures to investors on how they are managing these risks; issue "an explicit, public rejection of all racist language from policymakers directed at immigrants and racial, religious and ethnic minorities;" restrain from spending company assets to support of policymakers with anti-immigrant policies; and dedicating resources to support and defend "vulnerable individuals within the company's workforce, including current DACA recipients."

Additionally, the trustees ask that the 50 companies call for a reversal of the Trump administration's decision on DACA and to defend temporary protective status for more than 300,000 immigrants when it comes up for review by the administration in November and January.

"The administration's ongoing efforts to dramatically restrict immigration threaten to undermine the economic fundamentals on which long-term performance depends," the trustees said in the letters. "One estimate (from the Center for American Progress) suggests that, if realized, the Trump administration's immigration objectives could cost the U.S. economy $4.7 trillion in GDP over 10 years, which has the potential to impact our company's current and future earnings."

The Service Employees International Union represents more than 2 million members who are participants in public and private-sector retirement and benefit plans and have combined assets of more than $1 trillion.