UNITE HERE and Allies Organizing Day of Action Across Florida to Stop Threat of Trump Mass Deportations of Haitians

orlandotpsMay 12, 2017
Rachel Gumpert
[email protected]

Prominent Haitian-American Organization UNITE HERE Raising Flag on Trump Mass Deportations; Organizing Day of Action Across Florida

Miami, FL – On Saturday, May 13, 2017, the UNITE HERE union, one of the largest organizations of Haitian immigrants in Florida, will be participating in multiple actions organizing against the threat of 50,000 Haitian immigrants facing immediate deportation this summer under the Trump administration. The mass deportation threat stems from the sunsetting of Haitian Temporary Protected Status (TPS) this summer, and growing concerns that the Trump administration may not renew or extend Haitian legal worker status. UNITE HERE represents thousands of Haitians living and working legally in Florida, some of whom would be at risk for deportation and face termination from their jobs if TPS is not renewed. UNITE HERE represents 270,000 members working in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, transportation, and airport industries in the U.S. and Canada, including 21,000 Local 737 and 362 members in Orlando and 6,000 Southern Florida members in Local 355.


Who: UNITE HERE and partner organizations
What: March Against Haitian Deportation
When: SATURDAY, May 13, at 10am
Where: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 8801 N.W. 7th Avenue, Miami, FL 33150
NOTE: UNITE HERE member leaders and Haitian immigrants are available now through May 15 for interviews on their personal experiences and how losing TPS, and thus the criminalization of Haitian workers, would impact immigrants as well as the local economy in Florida.


Who: UNITE HERE and partner organizations
What: Haitian Mass Deportation Community Roundtable
When: SATURDAY, May 13, at 7:30pm
Where: Eglise Baptiste Haitienne Philadelphie, 4618 Middlebrook Rd, Orlando, FL 32811

Haitian Workers in South Florida Calling for Renewal of Temporary Protected Status

355International Workers’ Day Press Conference on the Status of Haitian Workers in South Florida and Renewal of Temporary Protected Status

MIAMI – Hospitality workers, members of UNITE HERE Local 355Haitian Women of Miami (FANM), and allies are gathering in front of the Fontainebleau Resort (44th Street & Collins Avenue, Miami Beach) for a May Day press conference calling on the Trump Administration to renew the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) of over 50,000 Haitian nationals in the U.S.

The May Day press conference will take place on Monday, May 1st, 8am.

In light of the EEOC lawsuit filed against the SLS Hotel for the discriminatory firing of Haitian kitchen workers, we are calling on the hospitality industry to acknowledge the contribution made by Haitian workers in South Florida.

“I have been in the U.S. for 8 ½ years. TPS has allowed me to work legally and support my five children, two of which are still back home in Haiti. Immigrant workers like me are the engine of the hospitality industry in South Florida,” says Gerdine Verssagne, housekeeper at the Fontainebleau Resort on Miami Beach.

“Failure to renew TPS would not only break apart families and further devastate a country still recovering from natural disasters, but it would also negatively affect the hospitality industry in South Florida which depends on the labor of many Haitian workers currently on TPS,” says Rose Metellus-Denis, President of UNITE HERE Local 355. “We are calling on South Florida employers to urge President Trump to renew TPS.”

Speakers will include Marleine Bastien, (Executive Director of Haitian Women of Miami-FANM), Rose Metellus-Denis (President of UNITE HERE Local 355), and Miami Beach hotel workers.

UNITE HERE Local 355 represents 7,000 South Florida hospitality workers at hotels, casinos, airport food service, and Marlins Park.