Dream and Promise Act Means Stable Futures for Union Members

Since the Fall of 2017, a new coalition of unions, Working Families United, representing four million workers across the country has fought together to win stable futures for their members with an immigration status called TPS which offers them protection from being expelled to countries where their lives would be in danger due to natural disasters, war, or political instability.

The average TPS holder has lived in the US for nearly twenty years. They are trained specialists in their fields. One third are homeowners. And they are parents to more than 275,000 US citizen children whose lives would be thrown into chaos if the government were to remove their parents’ status.

The Dream and Promise Act will keep our union members safe, our industries working, and our nation’s values in tact.

“Within the labor movement and the business community, there is a remarkable consensus and feeling of great urgency for congressional action to protect these workers’ status.” – Terry O’Sullivan and Stephen Sandherr: Immigration fix & Pennsylvania’s construction crisis

These are just some of the stories of our union members with TPS.

Union families hugging

Donaldo Posadas, Maryland. IUPAT member and TPS holder from Honduras

For the last 20 years, Donaldo Posadas Caceres has strapped on a harness with a paint gun to scale the towers and steel beams of some of the tallest bridges in the United States. Whether he’s on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Maryland, the Walt Whitman Bridge in Philadelphia, or other suspension bridges up and down the East Coast, Posadas thinks about his wife and family, because “I will do anything for my family,” he says.

Wilna Destin, Florida. UNITE HERE member and TPS holder from Haiti.

Wilna Destin’s eyes fill with tears when she talks about her 10-year-old son. She describes how frightened he is she will leave him. He asks who will hug him, or make him dinner, or help him with his homework if she goes away. She tries to reassure him, but this is not just normal separation anxiety—his fears are well-founded.

Destin was a housekeeper at Disney World until she landed her job at UNITE HERE as an organizer helping lead the campaign to raise the minimum wage. Destin is one of nine TPS holders from all over the country who sued the federal government in March, arguing that the Trump administration’s decision to terminate TPS was illegal.

Ericka Lopez, Nevada. UNITE HERE member and TPS Holder from El Salvador.

In her years in Las Vegas, Ericka has become an American in every sense except for actual citizenship, she said. She lives in an apartment in North Las Vegas with her kids and has worked her way up from a job doing laundry for local casinos to become an organizer for the local hospitality worker’s union, Culinary Workers Union Local 226.

“For me, right now I can say that I found the opportunity that I never dreamed (of) before,” Ericka said, choking back tears at the thought that the dream might end.

Noel Aguilar, Virgina. LIUNA member and TPS holder.

I have spent nearly all of my adult life in the United States. I’ve made a career for myself in construction by renovating government buildings and am a member of the labor union LIUNA Local 202. My children, ages 13 and 19, are U.S. citizens.

The opportunity to live and work in the United States is something I will always be grateful for, but since the termination of temporary protected status, I worry that my family will be torn apart.

Cesar Rodriguez, California. Teamsters member and TPS holder from El Salvador.

Rodriguez drives a truck that hauls containers to and from the docks of the Port of Los Angeles, carrying merchandise for Amazon, Walmart and Target.

“If I lose my TPS, I lose my trucker’s license,” Rodriguez said, referring to his temporary protected status in the U.S. “I work hard. I have a clean record. I pay taxes. Right now, I have no solution to fix my status if TPS ends.

Lorena Berrios, New York. LIUNA Member and TPS Holder from El Salvador

Working in construction gave me economic stability…I’m scared because if TPS is gone, everything I have achieved will be gone, too,” she says. Berrios’ three children—two of whom also are union laborers—also now face uncertain status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created in the Obama era to allow immigrant children, the estimated 800,000 “dreamers,” to remain for school or work.

Yvenor Joachim, Pennsylvania. UFCW member and TPS holder.

“America gave my family the opportunity for a new life after our home in Haiti was destroyed by the 2010 earthquake. TPS allowed us to come here when we had nowhere else to turn. Thanks to TPS, we’ve been able to find good jobs, provide for our family, and build a better future for our children. We work hard, pay our taxes, and are proud to contribute to our community. After building a new life here, losing TPS would devastate our family and millions of families like ours. I stand with all TPS holders to urge Congress to save TPS and keep our families together,” said

Unions Endorse Dream and Promise Act, Push for Swift Passage in Congress

Bill Would Provide Stable Futures for Our Members and a Stable Workforce for Our Industries


March 12 – Washington, DC

In response to the introduction of H.R. 6, the Dream and Promise Act by Reps Roybal-Allard, Velazquez, and Clarke with 130+ co-sponsors, the Working Families United Coalition released the following statement:


The Dream and American Promise Act will provide stable futures for Dreamers and people with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and a stable workforce for America’s industries.  

Passing permanent protections for Dreamers and TPS holders is in the best interest of the American people, American businesses, unions, and as equally important, for the people who wake up and go to work or school every day whose lives have been thrown into limbo by the cancellation of these programs. It should be a common sense solution for industries facing skilled labor shortages to make sure the TPS holders and Dreamers who have become trained professionals in their fields can continue their contributions instead of allowing them to be torn from their homes and their workplaces.

The economic cost of cancelling TPS would be in the billions in lost GDP, in turnover, lost Social Security contributions, and the human cost would be immeasurable. The United States does not want to see another family separation crisis.  

Our unions strongly endorse the Dream and Promise Act and urge Congress to pass it immediately.

Working Families United is a coalition of seven labor unions, including the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, UNITE HERE, the Ironworkers, the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers,  the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Teamsters, and Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA), representing four million members fighting for immigrant justice.


WFU formed in 2017 in response to the pending crisis caused by President Trump’s termination of Temporary Protected Status for 400,000 immigrant workers and their 275,000 US citizen children.  Our members like Wilna Destin of UNITE HERE are part of the class-action lawsuit currently blocking the termination of TPS for Nicaragua, Sudan, El Salvador, and Haiti. Donaldo Posadas of the Painters’ Union is a plaintiff in a separate case for Honduras and Nepal. Meanwhile the coalition urges Congress to pass the Dream and Promise Act in the House and the Secure Act in the Senate to provide permanent protections and a path to citizenship for Dreamers and TPS holders from all affected nations.