On May 7, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Justice Department would refer any person caught crossing the border illegally for criminal prosecution, resulting in the separation of minors from adults who are detained under this “zero tolerance” policy. By May 31, nearly 2,000 children were in mass detention centers or foster care. According to The New York Times, 364 children had been reunited with their families as of July 20, just six days before a court-ordered deadline for reunification.
As part of Weber Shandwick’s ongoing series tracking business response to current events and broader societal corners, we assessed corporate reactions to this latest issue. We saw the business community begin to respond in mid-June, and captured statements from 98 companies and organizations by June 28.
We found that 77 percent of the companies that spoke out had the leader of their company (e.g., CEO, Chairman, President) respond. More than half of companies (52 percent) called for an end to the policy and 24 percent demanded reunification of separated families. 14 percent of companies took an action beyond issuing a statement, such as donating money or services to organizations working with separated families. More of our findings can be found here.
Click here to see more of our research and insights on CEO and corporate activism.