Day of Protests, Worker Delegations, and Political Lobbying Launches as Part of Push by Union to Protect TPS Recipients in Immediate Lead Up to Central American Decision

New York, NY – Today thousands of UNITE HERE hospitality workers are mobilizing in over a dozen American cities to push for renewal of expiring Temporary Protective Status (TPS) designations. The day of action comes as part of the union’s push ahead of an expected November decision on TPS renewals for Central American countries and Haiti, and is the latest in what’s been an ongoing campaign throughout 2017.

“Today and over the next week, UNITE HERE hospitality workers are mobilizing across the country in over a dozen cities for justice for TPS recipients,” said Maria Elena Durazo, General Vice President of UNITE HERE and the architect of the union’s national immigration program. “Decisions about TPS renewals have been a bipartisan humanitarian matter under Presidential administrations of both political parties, and it defies reason and common sense that in the next year 320,000 immigrants with TPS working legally, paying taxes, and contributing to this country are now under threat of deportation because of the current administration. The mass deportation of hundreds of thousands of immigrants with TPS, who are the backbone of the hospitality industry, would have devastating humanitarian consequences on working families with 273,000 American children born to TPS recipients, and be a crushing blow to the American economy. Today from Los Angeles to New York City, Detroit to Denver, Charlotte to Las Vegas, Orlando to Indianapolis, and many cities in between, UNITE HERE workers are organizing to protect the thousands of TPS recipients our union represents and calling for extension of TPS and creation of a true pathway of citizenship for immigrant workers.”

Across America today, UNITE HERE is organizing a week of actions to preserve TPS in the face of broad attacks against immigrants and working people by the Trump administration. Union hospitality workers across the country are leveraging their political power in states across the country, with highlights including worker delegations to federal elected officials in three cities in Texas, a state with one of the highest amounts of TPS recipients; lobbying municipal elected officials in Charlotte, NC; working with elected officials in Atlanta to pass a resolution protecting local TPS recipients; worker delegations targeting swing state Congressional leaders in Pennsylvania and Nevada; workplace delegations to major hospitality employers to call on them to push the administration for TPS renewals, and many more.

UNITE HERE represents 270,000 hospitality workers, including thousands of TPS recipients who would lose their work authorizations and families in America if their TPS designations are not renewed this year. UNITE HERE has a rich history of leadership within the labor movement for immigrant worker justice that spans decades, led by UNITE HERE Vice President Durazo. Earlier this year, UNITE HERE in Florida led efforts to press for the renewal of Haitian TPS, and was joined by its top employer there, Disney Orlando, to appeal to DHS for Haitian TPS renewals this spring.  Today’s organizing in over a dozen cities comes after UNITE HERE flew in workers on TPS from around the country to personally lobby Senate and the House to take immediate action on extensions in Washington, DC on Monday and Tuesday of this week.

Contact: Rachel Gumpert, (908) 752-3929

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UNITE HERE represents 270,000 members working in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, transportation, and airport industries in the U.S. and Canada, including many immigrant, DACA, and TPS members.