Culinary Union members Urge Senators Heller and Cortez Masto to protect Nevadans and TPS


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Media Contact: 
Bethany Khan ▪ ▪ (702) 387-7088 

Culinary Union members Urge Senators Heller and Cortez Masto to protect Nevadans and TPS 

WHAT: Culinary Union members who have Temporary Protected Status (TPS) will meet with representatives from the offices of Senator Dean Heller and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto and urge them to protect Nevadans and renew TPS.

WHO: 10 Culinary Union members will meet with representatives from Senators Heller and Cortez Masto’s office. Culinary Union members who have TPS will available for interviews before and after each meeting.

DETAILS: Thursday, October 26, 2016


UNITE HERE’s Culinary Union urges Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, Senator Dean Heller, and the Trump Administration to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to individuals from 10 TPS-designated countries which include El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

There are over 320,000 TPS holders who live and work in the United States from 10 countries with deadlines set to expire at the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018. With a decision for Central American and Haitian TPS renewals expected in November, the Culinary Union is fighting to save TPS and keep immigrant workers in the USA and working legally.

“Approximately 5,700 immigrants with TPS designations call Nevada home and have lived in the United States for nearly 10 years. They pay taxes, raise their children who are U.S. citizens, and contribute to our economy,” said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union – Nevada’s largest immigrant organization. “If TPS were to expire, it would criminalize thousands of current legal workers in major cities and industries overnight. We call on Republicans to renew TPS and not separate and destroy families who have deep roots in the United States.”

Culinary Union members who have TPS went to Washington, DC October 21-30, 2017 to meet with senators and congressional representatives to share their stories and participated in national TPS solidarity actions.

“I fled El Salvador 16 years ago because of all the violence – it wasn’t safe for me there. I’ve lived in the U.S. since 2001, I met and married the love-of-my-life, had a son that I’m so proud of, and I even bought a house with my wife, said Mauricio Valdez, a Houseperson at the Hilton Grand Vacations at the Flamingo and a Culinary Union member. “America is my home and I wouldn’t be able to stay in this country with my family if I didn’t have TPS. I ask politicians to renew the TPS program and don’t destroy my family.” 

The TPS designation is implemented through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and is a temporary benefit aimed at providing relief to immigrants residing in the United States who are unable to safely return to their home country. TPS can be granted in the event of an ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster as well as other extraordinary and temporary conditions. TPS recipients are fully vetted and are required to undergo background checks to ensure that they are not risks to public safety or national security.

Once granted TPS, individuals may not be deported, can obtain an employment authorization document and may be granted travel authorization. In addition, individuals cannot be detained by DHS on the basis of their immigration status. 



Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent over 57,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of the casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. UNITE HERE represents 270,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America.

The Culinary Union, through the Culinary Health Fund, is one of the largest healthcare consumers in the state.  The Culinary Health Fund is sponsored by the Union and Las Vegas-area employers.  It provides health insurance coverage for over 143,000 Nevadans, the Culinary Union’s members and their dependents.    

The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest immigrant organization with over 57,000 members - a diverse membership that is approximately 55% women and 56% Latino. Members - who work as guest room attendants, bartenders, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, and kitchen workers - come from 167 countries and speak over 40 different languages. The Culinary Union has been fighting for fair wages, job security, and good health benefits for working men and women in Nevada for over 82 years. / @Culinary226

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