For immediate release
May 19, 2015
UNITE HERE Joins Immigrant Rights Groups in Nationwide Day of Action to Fight for Immigrant Families
[New York, NY] – On Tuesday, hundreds of members of UNITE HERE are participating in actions in cities nationwide, demanding an end to the Republican-inspired lawsuit currently blocking the implementation of the new DAPA and expanded DACA programs. UNITE HERE represents workers in industries that rely heavily on immigrant labor, like hotels and food service, and hundreds of thousands of workers in these industries and their families will benefit from deferred action programs.
May 19th is the day that DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans) was supposed to go into effect, exactly six months after President Obama first issued his Executive Order on Immigration that granted relief from deportation to millions of immigrants living in the United States. A politically motivated lawsuit and court decision by a Federal Judge in Texas has put those programs on hold, blocking millions from coming forward to register and get work permits through the deferred action programs.
UNITE HERE members are joining coalition partners in rallies and press conferences in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington D.C., pressing the courts to allow DAPA and DACA to proceed. In Las Vegas and Phoenix, UNITE HERE is organizing delegations to Republican officials behind the lawsuit challenging President Obama’s immigration order, including Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.
“Immigrants in this country are among the bravest of all of us, often coming here with nothing and facing incredible hardship to work and provide for their families,” says Maria Elena Durazo, the General Vice President of Immigration, Civil Rights and Diversity with UNITE HERE. “If America truly is ‘the home of the brave,’ then who better than immigrants should we encourage to stay here.”
Despite the court delays, UNITE HERE is pressing forward with efforts to assist immigrant workers and their families by educating immigrants interested in DACA and DAPA programs about enrollment. UNITE HERE represents workers in industries that rely heavily on immigrant labor. The hotel industry ranks number one among U.S. industries with the highest percentage of immigrants working in various jobs at hotels across America, including 147,000 immigrants working as housekeepers. Food service is number five, with 600,000 immigrants working as cooks in U.S. restaurants and cafeterias.
About UNITE HERE
UNITE HERE represents 270,000 women and men across North America who work in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, transportation, and airport industries. Together, we are building a movement to empower immigrants and all workers across North America to achieve greater equality and opportunity.