For immediate release
March 12, 2019
Washington, DC – Today UNITE HERE, North America’s largest hospitality workers’ union, heralded the introduction of the Dream and Promise Act, introduced today by Congresswomen Lucille Roybal-Allard, Nydia M. Velazquez, and Yvette D. Clark to the United States House of Representatives. The union, which represents thousands of immigrant workers, pledged its support to securing passage of the legislation, which provides legal status and a pathway to citizenship for potentially 2 million‘Dreamers’ and 400,000 Temporary Protected Status holders.
“Immigrant workers on TPS and DACA are the backbone of the hospitality industry, and their contributions to their communities and our country are invaluable,” said D. Taylor, President of UNITE HERE. “The Dream and Promise Act will keep over a million hard working immigrants together with their families, working in their jobs, and safe in their homes. UNITE HERE is deeply committed to the passage of this law, and we will be engaged in battleground states across the country in the coming weeks to support its passage.”
For UNITE HERE workers on TPS, the Dream and Promise Act means an end to years or in some cases decades of fear regarding their future in America.
“Let me be clear: we are committed to the TPS and DACA fight,” continued Taylor. “But that is just the beginning of a much larger fight which is to forge a lasting solution to the plight of all 11 million undocumented immigrants in America who add so much to our lives, whether it is putting food on our table, washing the dishes, taking care of our kids or building our roads and bridges, among other dignified jobs.
“Our union will not rest until we protect these workers, give them encouragement to come out of the shadows, and petition Congress to do what is right for our conscience, our economy and our self-respect to give dignity and legal status to these hardworking men and women,” he concluded.
“This bill is the answer to my family’s prayers,” said Belinda Hanzman, a Honduran TPS holder in Orlando, Florida. “Having TPS allowed me to get a union job at Disney where I have a voice, but fear has hung over my family since Honduran TPS was terminated. Without TPS, I would lose my work authorization and ability to support my family, and would be torn away from my husband and our American citizen children. The House and Senate must pass the Dream and Promise act to keep families like mine together.”
UNITE HERE represents over 270,000 members working in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, transportation, and airport industries in the U.S. and Canada. Learn more at www.unitehereimmigration.org