For immediate release
February 17, 2015
[New York, NY] On Monday, a G.W. Bush-appointed district court judge in Brownsville, Texas, issued a preliminary injunction that temporarily blocks the implementation process of the new immigrant deferred action programs. While the ruling may push back the start date for millions of immigrants workers to come forward, register and apply for work permits (now planned for Feb. 18 for DACA), UNITE HERE is pressing forward with efforts to assist immigrant workers and their families, anticipating that the U.S. Fifth Court of Appeals will reject the politically-motivated lawsuit by anti-immigrant politicians.
“UNITE HERE represents hundreds of thousands of working men and women in a prosperous and profitable growth industry—hospitality,” says Maria Elena Durazo, the General Vice President of Immigration, Civil Rights and Diversity with UNITE HERE. “The backbone of hotels, food service and gaming are immigrants from all over the world, and they should not have to live or work in fear.”
Members of UNITE HERE have seen the benefits of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) firsthand. Take Cristian Torres, a college cafeteria worker in California who was fired when trying to organizing a union after the company did a document check. After DACA, he got his job back. Now he has the freedom to speak out about his working conditions. Through a collective bargaining agreement, he and coworkers have won protections from abuses and low wages.
“We’re here to stand with workers like Cristian and thousands more working in hospitality, who only want an opportunity to provide for themselves and their families,” says Durazo. “It’s time for out-of-touch, anti-immigrant politicians to end these political stunts and stop playing games with people’s lives.”
UNITE HERE is teaming up with religious and community advocates to inform immigrants interested in DACA and DAPA immigration programs.
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.
For questions or to interview immigrants who are members of UNITE HERE, please contact Annemarie Strassel at 312-617-0495 or [email protected].