Culinary Union urges the U.S. State Department and U.S. Department of Homeland Security to extend Temporary Protected Status for immigrants


Friday, July 21, 2017

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Bethany Khan ▪ ▪ (702) 387-7088

Culinary Union urges the U.S. State Department and U.S. Department of Homeland Security to extend Temporary Protected Status for immigrants

LAS VEGAS, NV – UNITE HERE’s Culinary Union urges Secretaries Rex Tillerson and John Kelly of the U.S. State Department and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 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.

“Approximately 2,800 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.”

“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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