For immediate release
November 21, 2014
Biggest immigrant organization in Nevada rejoices in action to help millions
[Las Vegas, NV] Today President Obama will share his immigration action plans with the world in Las Vegas, joined by hundreds of supporters, including members of Nevada’s biggest organization representing immigrants—UNITE HERE’s Culinary Workers Union, Local 226. Thousands of the union’s members and their families will benefit from the action, fulfilling a hope for change that led the organization to become the leading force in Nevada mobilizing voters to elect Obama in 2008 and 2012.
UNITE HERE—a union representing 270,000 workers in the hospitality industry—was the first union in the nation to endorse Obama for President, announcing support amid key Nevada primaries. The organization represents 55,000 hospitality workers in Las Vegas casinos, primarily immigrants, and led a massive voter mobilization effort in 2008 and 2012. As a result, the red state of Nevada turned blue, helping to secure President Obama’s election and reelection. In 2012, UNITE HERE members knocked on 150,000 doors in Nevada and turned out 60,000 people to the polls.
“The President has shown great courage in issuing this executive order on immigration,” says D. Taylor, the President of UNITE HERE, who was once at the helm of the Las Vegas local and led efforts to mobilize support for Obama in 2008 and 2012. “For thousands of our members and millions of undocumented immigrants living in the shadows, this means a reprieve from fear of deportation and separation from loved ones. While today’s order does not fix our nation’s broken immigration system, this small level of relief will mean a lot to the families that it will impact.”
“In Las Vegas, our union represents workers from 167 countries who speak over 40 languages,” says Geoconda Arguello Kline, the Culinary Union’s current Secretary-Treasurer and a Nicaraguan immigrant. “Today’s actions by the President are historic, and we are committed to fighting on behalf of all immigrants until we achieve a comprehensive solution.”
UNITE HERE is one of the largest organizations representing immigrants in the nation. It has been a leading voice on immigrant rights, launching the Immigrant Worker Freedom Rides in 2003 and working in coalition with the AFL-CIO to achieve comprehensive, worker-centered immigration reform.
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. Learn more at www.unitehere.org.
Immigrant workers available for interview. Please contact Yvanna Cancela at 702-524-8384 or Annemarie Strassel at 312-617-0495.